Daniel Avery: DJ-Kicks / K7 Records

In spite of his growing fame, following the crossover success of his debut LP, Drone Logic, and the ensuing tours, Daniel Avery’s sound hasn’t become any more commercial or approachable. In fact, it’s gone the other way. He’s made steely techno with Volte-Face as Rote, while his last solo record was severe and minimalist compared to past work. Avery tapped Rrose and Abdulla Rashim to remix that EP, which illustrates the sound he prefers these days. He’s exploring techno that makes its mark through texture and heavy repetition, rather than melody or catchy samples.

DJ-Kicks is a big deal for Avery. It’s his biggest project since Drone Logic and his first mix since Fabriclive 66, the release that first brought him to a wider audience. That one was effervescent and colourful, the product of a producer who came up under Erol Alkan’s wing. DJ-Kicks, on the other hand, is as stark as its cover photograph, brooding and monochrome from start to finish. It’s a rock-solid techno mix with few surprises or left turns. Avery can hold his own in this style, but a collection of tracks from artists like Planetary Assault Systems, Shlømo and Artefakt might not have the same crossover appeal he’s used to.

That said, the mix is still full of drama and striking moments. The first one happens early on, when the ominous drones of Rrose’s remix of Avery’s “Sensation” streak across the stereo spectrum, after In Aeternam Vale’s ambient intro sets the pitch-black mood. Ulwhednar’s “Stortorget” helps kick the mix into high gear and blends perfectly into Artefakt’s barnstorming “The Fifth Planet.” Post Scriptum’s excellent “Donbelief” arrives next, driven by a repetitive spoken word sample—the kind that used to be Avery’s signature.

Through the mix’s midsection and back half, Avery lets the tracks play out longer than many techno DJs would—Artefakt’s “The Fifth Planet” goes on for ten minutes—highlighting their intricacies and allowing them to build momentum. That energy spills over into an explosive finale that peaks with an exclusive track from Avery, the gritty rave-up “A Mechanical Sky,” which invokes the throbbing basslines of Drone Logic in a new, pared-down setting.

Avery’s mixing style sets him apart from other techno DJs, who might prefer to intricately stitch tracks together or simply slam into new ones with hot mixes. His approach comes to life at the end, with Edit Select’s remix of Slam’s “Cirklon Bells.” It’s a rigid tune that could fall flat in the hands of many other DJs, but the way Avery lets it breathe highlights the killer string melody, heightening the drama just by giving it some space. Even if he’s working with more straight-laced techno these days, Avery’s personality still shines through.


RELEASE: Daniel Avery: DJ-Kicks
Artefakt, BLNDR, Daniel Avery, Ekserd, In Aeternam Vale, Iori, JP Enfant, Lewis Fautzi, Planetary Assault Systems, Post Scriptum, Reeko, Rote, Shlømo, Slam, Ulwhednar,
Edit Select, Modvs, Rrose, Svreca
K7 Records
GENRE: Techno


  1. Artefakt – The Fifth Planet (Original Mix) (11:34) 123bpm/Amin
  2. BLNDR – Untitled 3 (Modvs Remix) (07:08) 126bpm/Dmin
  3. Daniel Avery – A Mechanical Sky (DJ-Kicks) (05:54) 84bpm/Amin
  4. Daniel Avery – DJ-Kicks (Continuous Mix) (01:18:02) 126bpm/A#min
  5. Daniel Avery – Sensation (Rrose Remix) (08:32) 120bpm/A#maj
  6. Daniel Avery – Space Echo (Original Mix) (03:23) 0bpm/Amaj
  7. Ekserd – Hidden Document II (Svreca Remix) (08:00) 128bpm/Amin
  8. In Aeternam Vale – Soundscape 1 (Original Mix) (02:36) 89bpm/Amin
  9. Iori – Maya (Original Mix) (06:34) 122bpm/Amin
  10. JP Enfant – Sirens (Original Mix) (06:57) 129bpm/Dmaj
  11. Lewis Fautzi – Blood (Original Mix) (04:49) 128bpm/Fmaj
  12. Planetary Assault Systems – Dungeon (Original Mix) (06:24) 134bpm/Amin
  13. Post Scriptum – Donbelief (Original Mix) (05:16) 130bpm/Amin
  14. Reeko – Capitulo 5 (Original Mix) (06:42) 128bpm/Amin
  15. Rote – Look In Your Eyes (Original Mix) (05:45) 126bpm/Bmin
  16. Shlømo – Vertigo (Original Mix) (06:31) 129bpm/A#min
  17. Slam – Cirklon Bells (Edit Select Remix) (06:11) 0bpm/Fmaj
  18. Ulwhednar – Stortorget (Original Mix) (05:23) 131bpm/Emin

Total Playtime: 03:05:41 min





Review Rating
Final Thoughts

Overall Score 3.5
Readers Rating
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