Various Artists ‘Kern Vol.2 Mixed By DJ Hell’


Various Artists / Kern Vol.2 Mixed By DJ Hell

CD / Digital 

Tresor Records / Released July 2013


From the opening pan pipes, tribal beats and low-end throb of Movements by Odori, it’s quite clear this second addition to the mix series from one of Berlin’s most notorious techno institutions means a lot of business. But then this is DJ Hell, meaning we shouldn’t expect one of those ‘for chin strokers only’ compilations. Indeed, his name might be firmly rooted in the subterranean ends of club culture, but anyone with ears will enjoy the fruits of his various labours

If one thing is for sure about the German born man responsible for melding these tracks together, it’s that there are few faces in electronic music more reliably entertaining in home listening format. With an approach to selecting tunes rooted in keeping things interesting, varied, but as logical as possible, the chap in question rarely utilises anything other than the gamut of sounds that have, in some way or other, been spawned from techno, electro, and acid house, and this latest effort is certainly no different, albeit delivered on a thoroughly uncompromising rave tip.

The overall idea then is to present an hour or so of sounds to get the party started (or indeed peaking), and on that measurement Kern Vol.2 is a job very well done. Even moments when the intensity seems to desist, such as in the dirty stomp and spoken word sample of Dan Diamond’s Club Therapy (remixed by Peace Division), the energy never drops, and yet there’s no obvious repetition of records, no carbon copies of preceding tunes, either. So in that instance, we emerge back into the warehousey sounding War Of The Worlds by Dark Comedy, as the pace picks up to what you might call ‘pretty banging’, but with thinking cap firmly on too.

There can be no questions as to whether this album is something very special indeed. Continuing to build from those earliest moments, heavy soul, shades of Detroit, near industrialism, punchy dirt, and all round floor-fillers abound. With barely more than two or three minutes afforded to each item on the 25-strong play list, it’s a case of fast mixing, a refreshingly direct aural aesthetic, and an essential addition to any CD shelf. Perhaps the most enjoyable four four mix we’ve been lucky enough to get our hands on so far this year, providing of course you’re looking for a club set on disc.