Combining hard-to-find nuggets (Paradise's Deep Groove's "I Love") with longtime personal favorites (Jurgen Paape's remix of Kron's "Silikron"), Talabot's DJ-Kicks is something of an ode to his own history in dance music. Moments of downtempo abound, including an opening stretch of silky ambience that shifts through artists like Pye Corner Audio (twice) and Maps, before moving on to the tropical bounce of Young Marco's remix of "Hetrotopia" and Elmore Judd and Rowan Park's take on “The Grasshopper Was Witness." Talabot's DJ-Kicks exclusive, "Without You," fits right in here: with its echoing vocal trills and locked-groove synth blurts, it sounds at once forlorn and softly embracing. At times this passage begins to feel like a trip through the catalogue of, say, International Feel, but when the warm beauty of Alex Burkat's "Shower Scene" emerges from the ambience, you're suddenly somewhere else entirely.
Talabot's DJ-Kicks is centered on lustrous atmospheres and fleecy textures, but that's not to say it's best heard in your pajamas. Certain tracks accelerate the pulse, most notably in a late run that opens with the twilight-house tones of Max Mohr's "Old Song," then moves through the midnight stomp of Motor City Drum Ensembles "Escape to Nowhere" and the steamy house of Wraetlic's "Streets" remix. Cue, then, the album's final stretch, which starts with the Kompakt glow of "Silkron" and courses through post-'00s fare from Talabot and friends, namely the warbled, bug-zap funk of "Sideral" (by Talaboman, his collaboration with Axel Boman) and Pional's ambient closer "It's All Over (Locked Groove Rendition)." It's a gorgeous conclusion to a mix that highlights not only the deft selections of its creator, but also the melodic and emotive approach in his own records. In bold terms, this is quite possibly the commercial mix of the year.