DJ Koze

(Copyright © 2012 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

Kosi Comes Around (2005), 6/10
Amygdala (2013), 6/10
Knock Knock (2018), 5/10

Stefan Kozalla began his musical career as the rapper of German trio Fischmob that released Maenner Koennen seine Gefuehle nicht Zeigen (1995) and Power (1998) before adopting the moniker Adolf Noise for his dj operations and the solo albums Wunden S. Beine Offen (1996), Deine Reime Sind Schweine (2001) and Wo die Rammelwolle fliegt (2005). At the same time he joined another trio, International Pony, that released We Love Music (2002) and Mit Dir sind wir vier (2006). He debuted his new persona DJ Doze on mixtape All People Is My Friends (2004) and the official album Kosi Comes Around (2005), devoted to ambient and minimal techno with chilling dance tracks such as My Grandmotha. The highlight, however, is his legendary ten-minute instrumental Brutalga Square, that abandoned the languid "minimal" aesthetic for a frenzied Afro-Brazilian orgy.

He became famous for his remixes: Matthew Herbert's It's Only (2012), Moderat's Bad Kingdom (2014), Lapsley's Operator (2016), Michael Mayer's For You (2017), etc. His remixes were collected on Reincarnations (2009) and Reincarnations Pt. II (2014).

The 80-minute album Amygdala (2013) recast him as a digital singer-songwriter and offered an elegant and relaxed take on techno, but turning it into a faceless product for cocktail lounges with spineless ballads like Track ID Anyone and idyllic shuffles like the gently jazzy Magical Boy. Nices Woelkchen is a hybrid of Giorgio Moroder's disco-music, soul balladry and ambient house, and the hypnotic minimal dubstep Marilyn Whirlwind borders on minimalism. Half of the album is devoted to lengthy instrumentals (or at most hummed tracks) such as Royal Asscher Cut, drenched in a nostalgic feeling. The peak of soothing elegance comes with the Caribbean undercurrent of the soft, ethereal tap dance La Duquesa. Overall, it's a monotonous experience, but DJ Koze has certainly perfected the art of production the same way that Steely Dan perfected the art of the pop-soul song in the 1970s. Equally elegant was the eight-minute drug anthem XTC (2015).

Knock Knock (2018) was even less inventive, happy to recycle house and pop stereotypes in Pickup, hijack ambient house in Bonfire and gloomy industrial techno in Seeing Aliens.

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(Copyright © 2012 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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