DJ-Kicks, huh? Akin to some prestige anthology series, it's the musical gift that keeps on giving. Of all the varying snapshots of talented artists placed within the same constraints to wildly disparate results, the German series has made a name for itself. It simply rises above the crowd.

Clearly, Peggy Gou agrees. Of all the ambitious career goals she'd set for herself (playing Berghain, only months after her debut tracks, no less? Check), getting her name on a DJ-Kicks entry was chief among them. It's hard to say who did who the favor. Her unique voice is perfectly suited to the challenge of creating a personable, joyous space across 70-odd minutes.

Rather than simply recreate something similar to her breathless live sets, which, to be fair, some past occupants of this imagined stage have done to great effect, Gou sought out a loftier, bolder ideal. To listen to this 69th Kicks is to enter Peggy Gou's home, kick your shoes off, and hear her very past and present, her very process. Sure, you'll end up dancing, but the couch is always there.

As you likely know, the South Korean relocated to Berlin, rapidly finding a home there, not to mention an audience, all while building a distinguishable, even undeniable perspective and sound. This collection tracks that journey, filling your ears with the sounds that inspired a fledgling DJ, along with those that continue to fuel her now. Thus, the likes of Aphex Twin are no surprise (that her choice is a Druqks track, slightly - and gladly - moreso), but her collection here is equally stuffed with lesser known gems, including Milanese duo Hiver and rising club favorite JRMS. The latter's '3' is currently a self-described "secret weapon" in Gou's live sets, taking the listener as close as they can get to her living setlist, without delving into the world of pleasure and sweat that is her show. Yet, it's only for a brief, teasing moment before we're plunged back into her mixture of nostalgia, memory and propulsion.

Some of the music here is even rescued from near-extinction. After he remixed one of her tracks, Parisian house savant I:Cube shared a hard drive's worth of unreleased music for Gou's listening pleasure, only to lose all the work himself. When she later sought out the inclusion of one of those tracks here, she explains, "I had to send him back his own track and he renamed it from ‘Unreleased’ to ‘Cassette Jam 1993'.

With such a story, it was the only fitting conclusion to Gou's DJ-Kicks. Not only is her instalment a gift that may well not have happened, it suits the adventurous, bruised nature of the record. After all, she chose the striking image of her cover art here, in her mind long before her her own Kicks came to fruition, with both a personal and more grave meaning in mind. The tiger represents her own personality, to be sure, but moreover it stands as a stark figure in her own native culture. Long extinct from Korea itself, but still a symbol of import to all who reside there, she fears their vanishing from the world entirely, valued more as an icon than as a creature. These are moments not meant to last, blessedly captured in time. One can only hope we keep them close.