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Various Artists Hot Chip: DJ-Kicks

Hot Chip's music is pristinely English: its playfulness and irony, its hinted melancholy, its self-deprecating smirk. The risk in letting a group like this behind the decks-a band whose chaotic pop is as jumbled as it is studio-perfect-is that the urge to show off wide-ranging tastes rather than simply scope out a great selection. No worries: Rather than some Bill Burroughs cut-up, Hot Chip's DJ-Kicks installment reads like James Joyce. Its stream of consciousness takes in pop and rock (Joe Jackson, New Order), soul hip-hop (Etta James, Positive K), minimalist house and techno, and Hot Chip's own dancefloor rave-pop. Yet despite stylistic hops, the resultant whole is indeed greater than the sum of its multifaceted parts.

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