- A smooth and enjoyable mix from the Swedish DJ and producer.
- Armand Jakobsson, better known as DJ Seinfeld, would likely be the first to admit that the "lo-fi house" tag attached to producers such as himself, Ross From Friends and DJ Boring has been both a blessing and a curse. Naysayers have suggested that the sound values style over substance and that the jokey aliases devalue the work of the artist making it. But lo-fi house's popularity over the past couple years has been a boon for Jakobsson's own profile. Similarly, while he's said that his name was not a publicity stunt—he binged on episodes of Seinfeld to help get him through a breakup—it has certainly helped get him noticed.
Now that he's got your attention, Jakobsson seems out to prove he's got more in his locker. The naked emotion of his debut LP, Time Spent Away From U, was overwrought for some. But the songs were also a year old by the time the album came out. Jakobsson has since moved on, both emotionally and musically. The rougher, spacier textures of his most recent EP, Sakura, hinted at an artist in flux. His first commercial mix, for DJ-Kicks, is a more conspicuous opportunity to show what he's capable of.
No one seems more aware of this than Jakobsson, and his opening track draws a line in the sand between the old and new. An offcut from Time Spent Away From U, "I See U" is a delicate confection of female R&B vocals over tape crackle and spare piano. It plays out for three-and-a-half minutes before Jakobsson launches into the congas and strings of András's "Poets Day" and Fantastic Man's "False Consciousness," taking the mix into sunset poolside mode and thereafter alternating between skittish breaks and loungey, leftfield house.
Eight of the mix's 21 tracks come from Melbourne producers. Asked why so many Melburnians appear in the mix, Jakobsson explained that he felt Australia deserved more exposure after befriending producers there and experiencing the country's scenes first-hand. As well as tapping established Melbourne acts like András and Fantastic Man, Jakobsson includes tracks by Aussie up-and-comers like Rosa Terenzi ("Up In Smoke") and Reptant ("Freq Accident"). There are no huge names here, and a number of producers featured are virtual unknowns (including Chela Una, who contributes the standout "Take Me.")
Jakobsson's own contributions showcase his range. "Simple Call," credited to Rimbaudian, opens with spacious breaks beneath a rubbery, waterlogged synth as flutey stabs chime in over the top. He's back as DJ Seinfeld later on with the swampy groove of "Typeless" and the tense "Triangle Echoes," its high-frequency synths dovetailing with the rolling low-end. These tracks are so well suited to the mix that they feel made to measure. This seamlessness is both the mix's strength and, to a lesser extent, its weakness. It's fluid to the point where a few tracks can pass by without any one standing out, especially early on. Still, Jakobsson's DJ-Kicks is a smooth and enjoyable hour, and a reminder that, whatever name he's releasing under, he's worth taking seriously.
01. DJ Seinfeld - I See U
02. András - Poets Day
03. Fantastic Man - False Consciousness
04. Rudolf C - Deep Sea Survivor
05. Rimbaudian - Simple Call
06. Roza Terenzi - Up In Smoke
07. Sleep D - Dawn Over Atlas
08. Hymns - Walrus
09. Rudolf C - Saber
10. FaltyDL - Freak Acid
11. Pépe - Victory Level
12. Project Pablo - Who's It For
13. DJ Seinfeld - Typeless
14. Mor Elian - Sci Si
15. Chela Una - Take Me
16. Reptant - Freq Accident
17. DJ Seinfeld - Triangle Echoes
18. Shedbug - Ambroxitil
19. J. Albert - meXme
20. S.O.N.S - Dune
21. Lou Karsh - Seep