Fans of UK DJ-producer Daniel Avery might find his entry in the esteemed DJ Kicks mix series a little surprising. Sonically it’s oceans apart from the thorny, acidic electro of his rapturously received Drone Logic debut album, and more tellingly, from his entry in the fabric mix series, FABRICLIVE 66.
In 2015, New Energy pulled together remixes of his material so far, and in its choice of remixers, hinted at his new direction. It’s evident Avery’s undergone a period of transition, as his DJ Kicks is techno to the core. Rather than go for the jugular, this time out he favours sound design, swirling, heady atmospheres, and the kind of flickering minimalism heard in cavernous clubs, featuring tracks by Rrose, Svreca and Planetary Assault Systems.
In his dominion, Avery builds a brooding, echoic and psychedelic tone. This is heads-down stuff. For the first few tracks, it’s all spiralling bells: strobe-lit, and a little menacing—as on Planetary Assault Systems’ "Dungeon"—or made from little more than a kick, hats, and voluminous, dubby spaces and loops. Yet the mix creeps and creeps; and before you know it, you’re knee deep in Artefakt’s thundering acid: tunnel tech of the highest order.
JP Enfant’s "Sirens" later is incredible. Full of hypnotic, eerie drones and little melodies, the micro details lend it a hypnogogic tenor. On another track, Avery collaborates with fellow techno voyager Volte-Face under the name Rote. Their tune "In Your Eyes" is redolent of Avery’s own material in its rolling, blank-eyed bass, yet loaded with spooky effects. A new solo track, "A Mechanical Sky", is closer to familiar territory, a rave instigating acid line burrowing through the beats, amid floating diaphanous pads; while the closing coda of Slam’s dreamy "Cirklon Bells" (Edit Select Mix) and another new Avery track, the pure ambient "Space Echo," brings us gently back to earth.
It’s the DJ’s own efforts that are the most striking, yet this mix isn’t about big tracks per se; it's more about building a lost-in-the-moment mood. In that, it succeeds tremendously, and offers an intriguing glimpse at a new chapter in Daniel Avery’s story.
To be continued.
01. In Aeternam Vale "Soundscape I"
02. Daniel Avery "Sensation" (Rrose Remix)
03. Shlømo "Vertigo"
04. Planetary Assault Systems "Dungeon"
05. Ekserd "Hidden Document II" (Svreca Remix)
06. BLNDR "Untitled 3" (Modvs Remix)
07. Ulwhednar "Stortorget"
08. Artefakt "The Fifth Planet"
09. Post Scriptum "Donbelief"
10. JP Enfant "Sirens"
11. IORI "Maya" / Rote "Look In Your Eyes"
12. Lewis Fautzi - Blood"
13. Daniel Avery "A Mechanical Sky"
14. Slam "Cirklon Bells" (Edit-Select Remix)
15. Daniel Avery "Space Echo"
Avery's contribution to the series will be available from November 11.