Slip into Silk City’s ‘Especially 4 U Vol 2’ mix [Stream]

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Slip into Silk City’s ‘Especially 4 U Vol 2’ mix [Stream]Mark Ronson Diplo Silk City

Listeners looking to let their ears slip into something silky can look no further than Diplo and Mark Ronson‘s second volume of Silk City‘s Especially 4 U mix series.

The Silk City constituents flaunt the finesse of their disco house domination in the one-hour mix,  a cool caboodle of Silk City edits of recent releases from Drake, Dua Lipa, and Post Malone–among others from DJ Koze and more–and retro, rhythmically indulgent disco flavored delights. Disco ball not included.

Dua Lipa discusses her forthcoming Silk City collaboration, here.

H/T: Billboard

DJ Koze brings the funk in fresh new take on Gorillaz’ ‘Humility’

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DJ Koze brings the funk in fresh new take on Gorillaz’ ‘Humility’Gorillaz With Ace

DJ Koze‘s reemergence from secluded island life yielded one of the most danceable albums of the year thus far.

Knock Knock flows seamlessly. Like a DJ set, the album’s a resounding collection of enigmatic stylings. Hip-hop reigns, vocalists are victorious, and energy’s at new heights, but what’s perhaps most interesting about Koze’s newest work is its integration of different forms. It’s a snapshot of contemporary dance’s coming and goings, so it makes sense then that DJ Koze would take on remixing fellow curators of past and present innovation, Gorillaz.

Koze has reworked one of the digital band’s most recent highlights from their newly released LP, The Now Now, taking on the dreamy “Humility,” offering an immensely laid back take on the record which humbly calls for it to be put on endless rotation. Giving Gorillaz’ “Humility” a placatingly psychedelic spin, Koze proves to be a complementary match to Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett’s synth-pop stylings.

Gorillaz Get Remixed By DJ Koze & Superorganism

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GorillazA few weeks ago, Gorillaz released a new album, The Now Now, close on the heels of last year’s Humanz. The next proper single for the album is “Humility,” whose original version features George Benson. The song has just gotten two new remixes. The first is courtesy of UK collective Superorganism, who … More »

The 50 Best Albums Of 2018 So Far

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Have you ever talked to your parents about what it was like to live through the late ’60s? National leaders were gunned down right and left. Entire generations were asserting themselves loudly. War was erupting, and nobody seemed quite certain why. People were walking on the moon. Hippie cults were chopping people up. A few … More »

Best Albums Of 2018…So Far

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It brings me an ample amount of joy to make the following statement; 2018 is the best year dance music has had in a long time. Since the EDM bubble blew up in the late 2000s and the commercial and mainstream takeover we’ve seen in the 2010s, there has been a noticeable decline in the

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10 Unique Acts To See At Primavera 2018

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Primavera-2018-lineupThe lineup of Barcelona’s Primavera Sound Festival is always stacked. It’s one of the best-booked festivals in the world, always boasting an impressive and diverse array of headliners atop a sprawling lineup that can hold all sorts of surprises. Conflicts are, counter-intuitively, less of a topic with Primavera because at a certain point you have … More »

Music Review: DJ Koze – Knock Knock

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DJ Koze

Knock Knock

[Pampa; 2018]

Rating: 4.5/5

In a 2013 interview with FACT, DJ Koze said that he’s “turned on by melancholy.” To hear a techno artist who plays to sold-out nightclubs, Ibiza beach parties, and crowds of nocturnal dwellers say something of the sort was initially confounding, but hearing his music, it’s easy to see how DJ Koze’s iconoclastic output of electronic music is equally ready for both blown-out soundsystems and lonely, tangled pairs of headphones. Hidden in the corners of the club are intangible bubbles, mixed bags of feelings, waiting for the right drop to burst. And who better to move that process along than Stefan Kozalla? The looming monolith of techno always loomed over creators far and wide, but Koze had different plans. His welcoming, genre-agnostic self could suddenly help 88 BPM feel as much at home as 130 always had.

2013’s Amygdala may have been one of the most intriguing and criminally overlooked electronic albums that year. From one vibrant, pulsating composition to the next, DJ Koze encapsulated the joys and pitfalls of being human with a treasure trove of sample-heavy deep house. A world of guitar strokes, earth-shattering bass, and relentless movement stood shoulder to shoulder with everything from the dissonant refrains of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” to the mournful vocalizations of Hildegard Knef. Add stellar guest appearances by the likes of Matthew Dear, Milosh, and Caribou and it became apparent that Amygdala was an exciting in-depth investigation of emotion, whose kaleidoscopic sensibilities and pastel-colored melancholia stayed true to the album’s namesake.

If his previous full-length was a shade too blue to be a “true” techno album, Knock Knock is Koze’s beating heart of a record with the vitality of a child refusing to sit still. Wondrous and touching, the album bears little resemblance to Koze’s techno and house peers. Rather, it sits in a bold corner of its own, drawing inspiration from the disparate galaxies of dream pop, crackling funk, angular trip-hop, and ASMR-inducing ambience. And while much of the album finds Koze re-adopting some of the tried-and-tested methodologies of blissed-out electronica, he doesn’t compromise on keeping things constantly engaging, thanks to a relentlessly imaginative approach to genre blending.

Devoted Koze-heads will relish in tracks like “Pick Up,” which are instant throwbacks to the luxurious, balearic vibes of Andrés and Pepe Bradock. Sibling cuts like “Seeing Aliens” wash over with an effortless, open-armed embrace. For those less engrossed with the world of Roland 808’s and breakdowns, it’s each sticky melody, crooning vocal ditty, and uplifting string section that pulls you deeper into the record’s warm, inviting environment. Kicking things into high gear, second track “Bonfire” deliciously manipulates a sample of Bon Iver’s autumnal “Calgary” into a head-nodding delight. The early placement of the track serves as Koze’s aesthetic statement: a truly extraterrestrial kind of house music that’s not quite right for a deafening dancefloor, but perhaps for the sound system inside a car speeding past it in the dead of night.

Lying underneath the balmy sheen of this entire record is the core personality of a pop music lover; the tumultuous journey toward shining, glorious melodies is one that must be achieved here, regardless of the vehicle. And so, things also take a moody turn quite often; Róisín Murphy’s enigmatic vocal performances throughout are placed atop understated nocturnal shuffles; if songs like “Moving In A Liquid” reflect the glory of a perfect sunrise, deeper cuts like “Scratch That” are the unsettling sunsets that precede them. The pensive cloudiness of “Muddy Funster” contrasts nicely against the twinkling refrains of the cleverly titled “Baby (How Much I LFO You.)” Even “Music On My Teeth,” which sounds like a customer-support-please-hold music-induced psychedelia, bursts with understated color.

Vocals, both sampled and performed, play a critical role in constructing the album’s sound. Breaking down the complex layers of gospel vocals and Sophia Kennedy’s emphatic phrasing is a legitimately difficult task, as words and sentences bleed into each other to create sprawling, expansive chaos. Both her and the aforementioned Murphy bring charismatic performances that feel tailor-made for Koze’s psyched-out compositions. And when you see Kurt Wagner on the guest vocal roster for a deep house record, you know you’ve struck gold.

And then we have “Planet Hase,” which plays host to an undeniably creepy surprise in its final minute: a fuzzy, voicemail tone-like voice singing “He’s got the whole world in his hands” in no discernible key. But this moment is no more surprising than a reverb-drenched lap steel on top of a sawtooth bass line, an acidic keyboard lead dotted by a glockenspiel, and a million voices singing in wildly ecstatic harmony. Knock Knock is full of surprises, and Koze is floating, in a meditative stance, watching over your shoulder as you revel in its resplendent glory.

DJ Koze transcends dance with new LP, ‘Knock Knock’ [STREAM]

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Producer and hardware extraordinaire Stefan Kozalla, known musically as DJ Koze, has just released an immensely soulful, unhinged body of work.

With a choice sampling from Bon Iver’s “Calgary” on “Bonfire” and features from a diverse cast that includes Róisín Murphy, Pampa Records’ own Sophia Kennedy, Speech from the 90s hip-hop outfit Arrested Development, and more, Kozalla transcends the dance music space he’s roamed for so long.

Knock Knock’s vast influences and coalescing styles are more than just a testament to his breadth as a crate digger; in fact, he’s poking fun of the repetitive nature of contemporary dance music with the lead single “Pick Up.” The mastery of his 70s influences and minimalistic Kompakt-aligned groove reigns supreme, too. Somehow, it not only works, but it sounds natural.

Knock Knock’s uncluttered. It flows like a DJ set — travelling seamlessly from one soundscape to the next.

Though his physical move towards a life of peace and quiet might suggest Koze’s departure from dance may be imminent, the music present here tells us differently of his legacy. There’s a reason why Koze is one of electronic’s biggest enigmas — but rather than questioning the motives behind such a work, we ought to just let it rest.

Stream DJ Koze’s New Album Knock Knock

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DJ-Koze-Knock-Knock-1525442129It’s been five years since the veteran German dance-music auteur DJ Koze released Amygdala, his last proper album, though he’s kept himself plenty busy in the years since. And today, Koze officially follows that album up with Knock Knock, his new album. It’s a long, warm, lush collection of oblique, longing melodies and restrained, immaculately … More »

DJ Koze releases hypnotic disco EP ahead of May album release

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DJ Koze is one of dance music’s most intriguing enigmas. Having moved from Hamburg to embrace simpler island living on the island of who knows where,  his music today is a far cry from his strange, experimental techno of the early 2000s. In less than one month he’ll be releasing his new album Knock Knock and in the spirit of the release, the German maestro’s shared an infectious disco-tinged EP.

As the guaranteed “Pick Up” oscillates between in its six-and-a-half minute groove, and the extended 10-minute version too, house-diva disco murmurs of Gladys Knight and Koze’s poised production pairing make it all the more clear that Knock Knock will be both a smooth and sound follow-up to 2013’s beloved Amygdala.

Photo Credit: Gepa Hinrichsen