Despite a remarkable (and underrated) history in underground techno, DJ Hell has more often than not been a populist when it comes to the mix CD arena. Even as far back as 1999 on DJF 750, in a compilation that featured Jeff Mills, Der Zyklus and Risque III, he couldn't resist finding room for Amanda Lear and Cerrone. The next year's Fuse Presents..., found him going from Speedy J and Maurizio straight to Donna Summer and Frankie Goes to Hollywood.
Classics are classics no matter what the context, though, and—more than anything else—that's what drives Hell's DJing style. It's not that he isn't digging deep. It's just that he's absolutely unafraid to pull out a track that has been regarded as "overplayed." He does so with aplomb on his newest mix, the ninth entry in Get Physical's Body Language series. Because for every King Britt Funke remix of Josh One's "Contemplation," you'll get something like Ryuichi Sakamoto & David Sylvian's "Forbidden Colours."
Hell is listening to plenty of music. He just doesn't want to waste your time with crap. Or only one side of his personality. It was the same sentiment that he presented with 2009's double disc Teufelswerk. This time, though, he pays tribute directly and does it in what somehow feels like a mighty brief 72 minutes. The illusion works because Hell basically presents three or four mini-mixes (depending on who's counting). It's distracting at times. The move from Walter Murphy to Klaus Schulze is a forced stop so that Hell can get in his final three tracks. The deep house to Daniel Wang transition a few minutes earlier doesn't quite work either.
But in an environment where digital mixing has made what was once impossible as easy as adding a few warp markers, these genre switch-ups come off as endearing. A DJ so excited to put cosmic, electro, classical music, house, techno and whatever into a mix and will stop at little to pull it off? This is no bad thing. Hell has been doing it for years, and he'll likely keep doing it until the day the mix CD finally dies.
Buy DJ Hell - Body Language Vol. 9 at
Tracklist: DJ Hell - Body Language Vol. 9 01. Christian Prommer - Sueno Latino (DJ Hell - All U Need is Love Remix)
02. Baby Ford + Eon - Dead Eye
03. Kirk Degiorgio - Nairobi (Carl Craig Remix)
04. Josh One - Contemplation (King Britt Funke Remix)
05. Will Saul & Tam Cooper feat. Ursula Rucker - Where is it? (Re-Loved Dub)
06. DJ Assassin - Face in the Crowd (Intellidread Mix)
07. Melody Boy 2000 - Monotone Fantastique
08. The Balanescu Quartet - Robots
09. Ryuichi Sakamoto & David Sylvian - Forbidden Colors
10. Depeche Mode - Eque
11. Die Vogel - Empire (Original Version) / Empire (Dixon Edit)
12. Club MCM - It's Me
13. Stereotyp - Take The Weight (Peter Kruder Vocal Mix)
14. Clara Moto feat. Mimu - Silently (Kirk Degiorgio Remix)
15. Che - The Incident (Wet Dream Mix)
16. DJ Linus - Are You Ready?
17. Dollkraut - Loot (Original Version)
18. Adam Port - I Love You
19. Daniel Wang - Warped
20. Walter Murphy - A Fifth of Beethoven
21. Klaus Schulze - Stardancer
22. DJ Hell - Germania
23. David Bowie & The Pat Metheny Group - This Is Not America