DJ Koze Knock Knock Pampa
There was a period when Stefan Kozella was one of European dance music’s most intriguing, infuriating and inconsistent producers. Over the past 15 years or so his 12”s – released by the likes of Kompakt, Philpot, and IRR – have veered from cracked-out abstruse deviant dancehall (2010’s Mi Cyaan Believe It) to minimal techno workouts (the still absurd stomp of his seminal Brutalga Square) via downtempo chipmunk soul (Smornin’) and wonkier-than-thou piano house-not-house (Rue Burnout) all of which hinted at an incredibly talented musician who couldn’t quite work out what exactly he wanted to be.
Then came Amygdala, his 2013 LP on his own Pampa Recordings imprint. The record was a lush and sublimely sensate listening experience, packed with micro-moments of genius that coalesced into a towering totality. Luckily, almost impossibly, Knock Knock rivals its predecessor.
Kozella’s approach remains as scattershot as ever – luminescent sadlad filter-house (Moving in a Liquid) and broken-hearted disco (Pick Up) sit alongside sunrise-ready dewy eyed anthems in the making (Seeing Aliens) and Wighnomy Brothers-esque mutant microhouse (Bonfire). But there’s a cohesion at play that means Knock Knock feels like the best DJ mixes; these are songs that talk to one another, poly-vocal constructions that prioritise pure pleasure. Sure he’s as goofy as ever, but it feels like Stefan Kozella is that step closer to knowing who DJ Koze is. And DJ Koze is someone to treasure.