Review: German house abstractionist Isolee makes a welcome return, surfacing on Pampa with his first new material since dropping his album Well Spent Youth on Koze's label back in 2011. Creative batteries recharged, Isolee is in familiar form on the three track Allowance 12"; the title track adopts his trademark bare bone approach with soothing lines of melodic intoxicants gently pulsing with intent over the soft edged house groove. This hypnotic opener hogs the A Side, leaving the chiming minimalist rhythmics of "You Could Do Your Memories" to duel for your attentions with the far too playful "Wobble".
Review: Despite some ill advised comments from Vondelpark stating their apparent lack of interest in current dance music trends, it's clear that the R&S signed troupe focus on a sound that makes them eminently remixable. Robag Wruhme is the latest producer to remould Vondelpark on this pair of remixes for DJ Koze's Pampa label, drawing on the sounds of "California Analog Dream" for inspiration. Kudos to Koze as the Kompakt mainstay is on sublime form here; the lead 'Moppa Habax NB' version retains certain elements of Vondelpark's original but weaves a loving ultra-violet sheen around them whilst laying down the kind of sumptuous house beat that makes you ponder the validity of Vondelpark's aforementioned comments. The accompanying 'Habay Latoff NB' version pulls the track deeper into DJ tool territory and feels like the sort of track Michael Mayer would drop deep into a set.
Review: Ex-resident Tresor DJ Dave DK and new name Ricoshei provide Pampa Recordings with their first release of the year. First up is the poppy "Perfect Like You", which would feel right at home on Kompakt thanks to its similarities to Superpitcher's "Joanna". On the B-side is the track "Woolloomooloo", which takes its name from a harbourside suburb in Sydney that's home to famous Australians like Russell Crowe and ex-Manchester United goal keeper Mark Bosnich. Nevertheless, the track itself is a moody and phosphorescent, almost ambient, excursion through synthy textures and uplifting vibes.
Review: You could say Robag Wruhme has been around the block a few times, thanks to a storied career that's seen him release music with Sonar Kollektiv, Circus Company and the many extensions of the Kompakt family. This latest release for Pampa is his second appearance on DJ Koze's label and he delivers a varied EP of sounds, ranging from the sewer techno of "Cybekks" to the crackly, John Beltran-like ambience of "Anton I". "Volta Cobby" is a sizzling cut for the summer festival stage (good timing Pampa) while "Anton II" is another ambient session, this time a little more animated thanks to chimes similar to what's heard in Pantha Du Prince's music. A record for the festival or the chilled out lounge room.
Review: Amygdala, the forthcoming LP from DJ Koze holds the dual title of being one of this year's most keenly awaited long players as well as the album with the most bizarre cover art. Quite why the producer is riding a reindeer hasn't been made clear yet, but this two track 12" does clue us in to to the possibility the album will hold up to such high expectations. "La Duquesa" is one of the few tracks on Amygdala not to feature a collaborator and stripped bare of any outside distractions finds Koze on sublime form; equal parts tender, refined, casual, serious, deep and euphoric. When those strings hit is a joy to behold. In contrast "Burn With Me" is dark, druggy, delicious and decadent.
Ich Schreib' Dir Ein Buch 2013 (feat Hildegard Knef)
Review: Though his career has taken many turns over the last decade, DJ Koze has remained that most illusive of creatures: a minimal-minded producer with an ear for a melody. This fourth full-length, packed to the rafters with big-name collaborations (Apparat, Caribou, Ada and Matthew Dear all feature), continues his move towards the home-listening sphere. So, while many of the heady rhythms and shuffling grooves hark back to his stripped-back past, Amygdala impresses with its woozy songs, genre-straddling fusions (see the modern soul meets deep house of "Homesick" or the steppy, tropical vibes of "Marilyn Whirlwind") and homely atmosphere.
Review: Hamburger DJ Koze and his Pampa imprint never fails to impress. This time he recruits the legendary German producer Isolee to work his magic on this tremendous release. It's the quirkiest of minimal house that you'd expect on "Floripa" with its druggy and hypnotic style reminiscent of Perlon or Villalobos. On the flip is "Favouride" and undoubtedly one of the darkest tracks he's ever produced with its humming sub bass and creepy pygmy chants fading in and out of the mix over some seriously tight rhythm programming. It's just got to be heard. Tip!
Lianne La Havas - "Lost & Found" (Matthew Herbert remix) (6:13)
Ada - "You & Me" (5:21)
Roman Flugel - "9 Years" (DJ Koze remix) (9:56)
Jackmate - "Pacemaker" (feat Nik Reiff) (7:57)
Axel Boman - "In the Dust of This Planet" (7:36)
Nasrawi - "Bump With You" (3:23)
Lawrence - "Glow" (6:25)
Stimming - "No. 17" (6:01)
Funkstorung - "I Does It" (feat Sensational) (3:07)
Josef - "I Wonder" (2:18)
Mount Kimbie - "Bells 5" (4:26)
Michel Cleis - "Un Prince" (4:47)
Die Vogel - "Everything" (feqa Sophia Kennedy) (4:16)
Isolee - "I Like It Here Can I Stay?" (6:05)
Jamie XX vs Kosi Kos - "Come We Go" (5:43)
Dntel - "Snowshoe" (3:36)
Acid Pauli - "Nana" (vinyl version) (10:07)
Gold Panda - "Black Voices" (5:18)
Roman Flugel - "9 Years" (4:23)
Review: The first compilation on Koze's Pampa label is a lovingly curated affair. It starts with the left field house of Herbert's take on Lianne La Havas and Ada's r&b-infused "You & Me", as well as DJ Koze's own hymnal take on Roman Flugel's "9 Years". Other Pampa regulars like Axel Boman are well represented and he provides the ultra-mellow "In The Dust of This Planet". Equally though, Koze also provides a platform for newcomers to the fold. There's the utterly bizarre, glitch-hop of Nasrawi and Funskstorung's contributions, and at the other end of the spectrum, wide-eyed deep house from Mount Kimbie and Jamie xx & Kosi Kos' pumping indie-dance "Come We Go".