Historically the DJ-Kicks series are known for some of the new original material that comes with the mix albums - each artist normally producing one new track specifically for the album. In the past these have included a number of highlights - Tiga's Man Hrdina, Hot Chip's My Piano and The Juan Maclean's Feel So Good all stick out for me - and in the past these have often seen their own release complete with remixes from artists selected by the compilation artist.
In the new release of Without You, DJ-Kicks are returning to this tradition, selecting the original composition from John Talabot's 2013 compilation, Without You.
Opening the EP, the original track benefits from the separation from Talabot's DJ-Kicks entry, itself a great compilation, simply for the focus it earns in standing on its own, unmixed. A significant portion of time has passed since Talabot's 2012 debut album Fin, and hearing Without You in its full form only adds to the yearning for new material... It stands up there with much of the material on Fin, a forlorn and heartfelt slice of psych house, haunted vocals calling out as rhythmic sonar-like synths pulse through the smoke.
Alongside the original are three alternative versions. The Melchior Productions Ltd Sueno Sin Ti mix (which translates as 'dream without you' from Talabot's native Spanish) is more minimal, focusing on shifting percussive movements and the looped refrain of the main synth line. The vocal hook just occasionally sneaks in, but it is a more muted take that retains the mood but applies it to a subtler take.
Oskar Offermann's Without Her Remix is warmer - a more upfront minimal house version. He plays with the elasticity of the track's pulsing synths and bass, creating warped cosmic soundscapes that once again emphasise the alienation of the original.
The best is kept for last... Mistakes Are Okay's Midnight Version feels the most distinct, an incredibly atmospheric alternate take that slows the original down and places the focus squarely on the organic synth sound that permeates much of Talabot's work to date... Folding in a robotic bassline with the layered melodies and vocals of the original create something that feels electronic and thoroughly cinematic... Beautiful.
Without You is released tomorrow through K7 Records. Order from Amazon.co.uk on MP3 [affiliate link].
Listen to a selection of the tracks via Soundcloud below.