!K7 are pleased to announce Forest Swords as the next curator of the ever essential DJ-Kicks series. Following acclaimed albums on Ninja Tune and Tri Angle, soundtrack and installation work, and remixes of the likes of Bjork, Matthew Barnes aka Forest Swords has curated a 25-track compilation that draws a line between past inspirations and his current peers.
"During all of the nights that shaped me as a music fan there wasn't really a focus on DJing etiquette; sticking to genres, perfect transitions – it was all pretty DIY and purely like having someone cook up their personal mixtape in front of you, to surprise you and to explore different sounds"; says Barnes. "That kind of rough-around-the-edges approach is so much more exciting to me than something sterile and seamless and I wanted to carry that spirit into this compilation".
Chosen over the course of a few weeks in winter 2018, the mixed version was cut on Barnes' laptop during a wintery cross-country train journey. Like much of his own output, his DJ-Kicks skirts around pristine electronics and embraces more organic textures: 80s post punk (Anna Domino, Dead Can Dance), classic 90s British electronica (Orbital, Mira Calix), and smokey digi-dub (Rhythm & Sound), all rub up alongside some of the most forward-facing producers working today (Demdike Stare, Laurel Halo, Fis). The compilation sifts through rhythms, shifting speeds and emotions: from pop icon Neneh Cherry's primal thudding to the zombified throb of exclusive Forest Swords track 'Crow' via Deena Abdelwaheed's clattering deconstructions to the euphoric two-step of Djrum. It's a collection of tracks that feels as restlessly curious and weighty as Barnes own work.
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Nominated "Indie Champions" at the 2015 AIM Awards.