Marcel Dettman Talks 'DJ-Kicks' & Why Mixes Are Still an Art Form
DJ-Kicks has long been treasured as for its finely curated album mixes from purveyors of electronic music, including the likes of Moodyman, Carl Craig, Nina Kraviz, Maceo Plex, and many more. Berlin's label boss of Ostgut Ton records, Marcel Dettman discusses the importance of 'the mix' in this feature from Billboard.This article originally appeared on Billboard
It's been an interesting year for the long running DJ-Kicks series: there will be five entries in 2016, more than any other year except 2012, and they've covered a lot of ground. In February, Moodymann released one of the finest installments, a remarkably unpredictable, wide-ranging mix; Dâm-Funk followed that by drilling down into his favorite niche, which he located at the intersection between "funk, boogie, electro, house, modern soul."
The latest installment heads in a very different direction thanks to the German DJ Marcel Dettman, known for his affiliation with the Berlin techno temple Berghain and its corresponding label, Ostgut Ton. Dettman's DJ-Kicks includes a previously unreleased collaboration with Levon Vincent and several new remixes; speaking with Billboard Dance from his home, he calls the decision to participate in DJ-Kicks "a no-brainer for me." He discussed his memories of earlier editions of DJ-Kicks and his approach to mix-making. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.
Have you previous encounters with the DJ-Kicks series?
Since the early 90s - more than 20 years ago - they've been on the top level having really amazing compilations. I think the best known one is the Kruder & Dorfmeister mix. You can find this in every bar. Also the Claude Young and the Carl Craig mixes were big for me — both had a great selection of electronic music. The level is pretty hard to beat. Style-wise, I like what they did. It's not easy to talk about music, but I can tell you I really felt it back in the day.