For instance, on Suck my Deck, it was the then-unknown Sweet Light who opened a mix which made a lot of room for recent French artists (Scratch Massive, Henry Goes Dirty, Cosmo Vitelli, Joakim). By the same token, Fabric 23 brought Aswefall, Tekel and Poni Hoax to our consciousness (as well as resurrecting for everyone – and way before anyone else – the splendid Pendullo vs. Und remix of I-Robot’s ‘Frau’). This time, Smagghe wants you to appreciate I’m a Clichés latest recruit Runaway: thatts Marcos Cabral and Jacque Renault who, by the way, just produced his first solo remix for none other than Moby his very presence here confirming that Smagghe was never a pretentious purist at heart. Anyway, these French newcomers show up twice on Cocorico 03: first with Alberg 300 early in the mix, a track that sounds like a darker version of Booka Shade and Audion, then with album-closer She Did it For the Moneyy, which manages to be hawkish and weirdly menacing while still feeling anthemic and celebratory. This is rare praise indeed. You also get to hear compelling new cuts from Marc Antona (freaky yet chic), Danton Eeprom (alarmingly hypnotic), and the virtually unknown Fred Hush & Noseda, whose Kaniball is so federative Belgium should use it to reconcile its linguistically, culturally, and economically divided population.
Thankfully, Smagghees intransigent modernist deejaying and overall dedication to unreleased and/or little known pieces is also no stranger to some sort of tradition, as leftfield as it may be. Thus apparitions such as the ubiquitous Villalobos remix of Blood on My Handss or Radio Slavees take on Partial Artsss Telescopee create welcome anchoring passages during which the listener can grab on to familiar feelings before plunging back into uncharted aural territory.
It is finally interesting to note that a lot of tracks here are played in their entirety five out of thirteen even last seven minutes or more (the aforementioned Kaniball actually hangs in there for ten whole minutes!). This is just evidence that, technically, Smagghe doesnnt feel he needs to prove anything anymore: there is this underlying muted contract when you buy a mix from him that states youure surrendering yourself to his vision without any rush, urges, or plain expectations. For this type of excursion, I couldnnt imagine a more fitting guy that the one at the helm here.
In his latest Month in Technoo column for Pitchfork, Phillip Sherburne, who is usually never short on words, professes the difficulty he had to establish this mixxs genre. And he couldnnt be any more right: Ivan Smagghe, by refusing to be pigeonholed by any generic and sub-generic conventions, posits himself as an eternally excentric figure, i.e. operating from the peripheral margins of the very (non-)scene he constantly helps (re)define. Hees not so young anymore, part of an established network of DJs and producers that include Ewan Pearson, Tim Paris and even Tiga (who once said Smagghe was his favorite DJ of all time), but Smagghees quest for the new paradoxically engenders its own predictability. His mixes are cold.
And that is surely the essence of fundamental cool, isnnt it?
Sun / 13 Apr 2008
01 Battles - Atlas (DJ Koze Remix)
02 Runaway - Alberg 30
03 Shackleton - Blood On My Hands (Ricardo Villalobos Mix)
04 Imek - ¿Se Hace El Camino?
05 Joachim Spieth vs Jesus Rodriguez - Up
06 Da Fresh - A Night At The Beach (Dj Fex Remix)
07 Danton Eeprom - Face Control
08 Marc Antona - Neurons
09 Stewart Walker - Fragile Chemistry (Touane Remix)
10 Partial Arts - Telescope (Radioslave's Prenzlauer Blur Remix)
11 Two Lone Swordsmen - Patient Saints (Dave Congreve's Boardroom Mix)
12 Fred Hush & Noseda - Kanibal
13 Runaway - She Did It For The Money