MP3 Download / Album Review: DJ Kicks - Various mixed by Wolf + Lamb and Soul Clap

Originally Wolf + Lamb and Soul Clap's DJ Kicks album was apparently due to be a 'versus' style affair but the respective duos obviously felt too much mutual love to compete and instead what we have is a four-way collaboration.

And the love here speaks volumes - this is a flirty, youthful house mix. Both Wolf + Lamb and Soul Clap have been on the verge of greatness for some time - with increasingly regularity BlackPlastic will hear a lush slab of disco house somewhere only to go on to discover it is one or the other (or both) of the pair. This DJ Kicks installment seems destined to push them further into the collective consciousness.

Short-skirted and irrepressible, this is an album a little impossible to resist. It's not perfect - there are times when it feels like it's playing you for time... Just like a girl drawing out the thrill of the chase there are some spacers here - the equivalent of deliberately unanswered phone calls or text messages that never get replied to, the odd track just feels like a waste of time and the programming is so flawless it can become a little sterile. But like the heady days of a blossoming relationship the overall experience feels exciting enough to forgive the artists involved - from blissful ambience of opening intro 'My Man's Gone Now' this is a remarkably considered album.

Things are at their best when everything goes a bit twisted and paranoid. Soul Clap's 'Lonely C', featuring Charles Levine, is alienated and distraught (check out the download below) - making the huge, fat bassline of H-Foundation's 'Tonight' all the more welcome when it arrives. And this isn't a mix afraid to drop the bpm and get sleazy - Nicholas Jaar (whose album we reviewed earlier this week) seriously messes with mix album conventions on his tribal and dubby 'Don't Believe The Hype'.

Zev's 'We All', featuring Greg Paulus, is one of the real standout moments, with a collection of warm acid lines and big empty snares encircling the listener, but it is Benoit & Sergio's fairly messed up 'Walk And Talk' that steals the show. A big, warm tech-house monster - it's the most beautiful song about having a ketamine addled girlfriend BlackPlastic has ever heard. Yes, really.

Occasionally caught out by it's own attention to detail it may be, but when Wolf + Lamb and Soul Clap's DJ Kicks album dares to let the chips lie where they fall, as one should with this sort of collaborative effort, it manages to hit all the right notes.

As a taster, download 'Lonely C' by Soul Clap featuring Charles Levine here [right click, save as].

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Wolf + Lamb and Soul Clap's DJ Kicks album is released on !K7 on 15 March, available to pre-order from Amazon.co.uk on CD, LP and MP3 [affiliate links].