DJ-Kicks: Henrik Schwarz (DJ Mix)
Before German producer Henrik Schwarz stepped up to the controls for his DJ-Kicks mix in 2006, the series had been mostly focused on house, techno, and downbeat sounds, but Schwarz injected a major dose of funk and soul. The set doesn’t completely shut out house and techno: Detroit electro legends Drexciya turn up, as do their Underground Resistance labelmate Robert Hood, and Schwarz puts his own soulful-house signature on a remix of Coldcut’s “Walk a Mile in My Shoes.” But for the most part, Schwarz sticks to songs that lie outside the club music canon: R&B from D’Angelo, vintage funk from James Brown and Cymande, spiritual jazz from Pharoah Sanders, classic soul from Marvin Gaye and Womack & Womack. What’s most fascinating is the way Schwarz sequences these disparate tunes, finding a rhythmic commonality that makes them feel like they’re all part of the same continuum, no matter how far-flung their points of origin. It’s a masterful display of mixing prowess—and, thanks to the warmth and intimacy of his selections, the kind of set that goes down as well on a Sunday afternoon as a Friday night.