DJ Koze – knock knock

knock knock continually bends and warps, jumps and starts, fully absorbing its antedecents and regurgitating a masterstroke of contemporary electronic music

Album Review by Lewis Wade | 01 May 2018
  • DJ Koze – Knock Knock
Album title: knock knock
Artist: DJ Koze
Label: Pampa Records
Release date: 4 May

knock knock is DJ Koze's first proper album since 2013's fantastic Amygdala but, with a legion of remixes, compilation appearances and a DJ-Kicks curation, he hasn't been sitting still. In fact, stasis seems to be an alien concept to Stefan Kozalla as this album continually bends and warps, jumps and starts, fully absorbing its antedecents and regurgitating a masterstroke of contemporary electronic music.

Club der Ewigkeiten kicks things off with dramatic synths and skittering drums that eventually make room for a chopped up vocal sample, all without losing any majesty. Bonfire makes wonderful use of Bon Iver's Calgary, twisting it into new shapes without it ever feeling forced. And while there may not have been a Matthew Dear or Gold Panda without DJ Koze, he's still able to take what his younger peers have made and recycle it fresh (Scratch that, Lord knows).

The album also has plenty of trendy guest stars, like Sophia Kennedy and Róisín Murphy, but they're always beautifully enmeshed in the composition. José González gives an understated, yet poignant turn on Music on my Teeth which manages to evoke feelings of both Jens Lekman and The Avalanches, while Kurt Wagner gives his vocoded wisdom to Muddy Funster in one of the record's eeriest moments.

But Koze's elastic beats are always the main draw, whether they're undulating around Murphy's vocals on Scratch that, squirming across the universe on Planet Hase (featuring Mano Le Tough) or loping beside the languid tones of Arrested Development's spoken vocals on Colors of autumn. Both Jesus and Music on my Teeth start with spoken word intros about the malleability of time, and lyrics on Illumination and Planet Hase both have cosmic concerns. Whatever celestial plane Koze is operating from, he's always in a position of total control, a master puppeteer. Regardless of whether his music is actually progressing, it's constantly moving forward, like it's stuck on an aural Möbius strip.

Listen to: Music on my Teeth, Planet Hase, Bonfire

https://pamparecords.com/t/artists/dj-koze