"Hell doesn't just represent a type of music, he represents a whole lifestyle, aesthetic and worldview – and Body Language Vol. 9 is perhaps the closest any disc has yet come to capturing that totality."
Last fall, Modeselektor contributed to Volume 8 of Body Language following Matt Dear, but this is particularly different from any mix compilation I've heard of late. It's not something to dance to at all times, but could withstand any car ride, apartment cleaning and company-having occasions. More important, it's an integral journey into the heart of why we love music of many facets.
Featuring Balanescu Quartet's chamber music take on Kraftwerk, a Dixon Edit of Die Vögel that brings on the brass instead of the bass and the insertion of "A Fifth of Beethoven" towards the end, this is by far one of the most diverse collections. Falling in the Body Language series is a smart move, as there are listeners outside of Hell's realm that will look on him fondly for this, as well as long-time fans, like myself, who know him as the Jackmaster Dominator that can bring you down to Hades with his dark techno DJ sets.
This isn't necessarily a lighter side of Hell, but it's just right for someone with his rich history to be given free reign to compile and mix 23 songs that speak a universal language to the human body. Last year's album, Teufelswerk, was an incredible achievement and the return of Hell's career between a ground-breaking gig in New York and the album pulling in praise from every direction.
A standout moment is Stereotyp's "Take the Weight (Peter Kruder Vocal Mix)," which breaks through the trance (poor word choice?) with haunting, soulful vocals not long after David Sylvian comes through with "Forbidden Colours." There's a lot to take in on this mix, and taking all summer to do so seems more like a pleasure than a chore.
Follow on over to Resident Advisor to check out more details and the impressive tracklist for Body Language Volume 9 : DJ Hell.