- Delivered in a gorgeous 12-inch sized booklet "showcasing the club's strong affinity to contemporary art," Live at Robert Johnson is a beautiful object. That's no surprise, really. The Frankfurt club is home to "a minimalist and ever changing interior design," so it would stand to reason that the packaging for their entry into the mix CD sweepstakes would be just as elegant. What's perhaps more pertinent, though, is that as stunning as it is to look at, Chloé's debut mix in the series is just as absorbing to listen to. Termed "hypothermic dance music," the Parisian DJ/producer's mix conjures images of necrotic limbs and frozen articulations—a Gothic-lite trope that Kill the DJ probably wish they'd come up with themselves.
What that means technically speaking, is a mix that starts at 101 BPM with the slow-motion grooves of female German oddball Gudrun Gut, which then stays around the 120 mark for almost an hour, until peaking at 125 with a Joakim remix of indie rockers Seventeen Evergreen. In terms of subtle tension-building and craftsmanship, it's exemplary. The fascinating thing is what she chooses to do it with: Chloé's selection ignores the understood imperative of sounding current.
Half of the tracks included here were released in 2007, which seems counter-intuitive if you think of DJ mixes as harbingers of trends/movements/whatevers. Furthermore, bar those SIS and Plein Soleil (Chloé, with fellow Parisian Krikor collaborating) exclusives, there's nothing really new or unreleased; chances are, with tracks such as the Steve Angello re-edit of Shinedoe's "Phunk" and Samim & Michal's circumvallating "Circles," you've heard some of these tunes numerous times before. Her desire to revisit the recent forgotten tech-house of Kalabrese or Laven & Heiko MSO (featuring Malte, whose almost baritone voice is the only heartwarming—if you can call it that—moment of the entire mix) can be peculiar, but it perfectly suits her aims of marching to the pace of her own drum machine.
With the rise of podcasts and the like, many are predicting the death of the mix CD. Chloé's distant yet engaging offering—icy and communal all at once—proves there's life in the format yet. And without getting too carried away here, it's fair to say that with upcoming mixes scheduled from Prins Thomas, Gerd Janson, and Ivan Smagghe, Live at Robert Johnson will quite possibly be the most intriguing mix series of the year.
01. Gudrun Gut - Rock Bottom Riser
02. DJ Koze - Mariposa
03. Kalabrese - Makelovedisco
04. SIS - Orgsa
05. Shinedoe - Phunk (Steve Angello re-edit)
06. Partial Arts - Cruising
07. Samim & Michal - Circles
08. Vincenzo - The Phantom Image
09. Daso & Pawas - Ice
10. Heiko Mso feat. Malte - Reach
11. Plein Soleil - Casus Belli
12. Larry Heard - Spinal Tap
13. Trulz & Robin feat. Baseman - Turn My Head
14. Homebase - Centrino
15. Seventeen Evergreen - Music Is the Wine (Joakim remix)