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Amygdala

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Album Review

Titled after a region within the brain that is connected to fear and pleasure, Stefan Kozalla's second proper DJ Koze album follows his first one by eight years. Each successive release that trailed Kosi Comes Around — including singles for Kompakt, Philpot, and his own Pampa, as well as remixes anthologized on 2009's Reincarnations — amplified Kozalla's reputation for consistency despite his lawless approach to techno. Amygdala should continue the streak. He involves a broad variety of collaborators, most of whom contribute vocals. While that signifies a shortage of ideas for most other producers, the album is more daring and creative than Kosi Comes Around, a straightforward offering in a comparative sense. On "Homesick," Ada channels Kirsty MacColl over a wistful hip-hop production that threatens to shift into rowdy go-go with its assortment of percussion. Milosh's feather-light voice complements the title track, one of Koze's most sensitive, least complicated productions (but watch out for those darting, swarming FX). And yet, despite containing one of Matthew Dear's most polarizing, verging on grotesque vocal performances, the gleefully clomping "Magical Boy" vies for the most touching song. Some of the voices are sampled, irreverently pushed, pulled, stretched, and squeezed into amusing but never extraneous sounds. For a graceful if scuffy, relatively steady transformation of "Ich Schreib' Dir ein Buch" (Rodgers & Hart's "I Could Write a Book"), Hildegard Knef unwittingly gets a duet partner in Marvin Gaye, who is extracted from Tammi Terrell, replicated several times over, and seemingly flicked off the mountain. Gaye also gets it on with Phantom/Ghost's Dirk von Lowtzow on the lullaby-like "Das Wort," but is left untreated. Koze would be considered a belligerent prankster if he didn't display the same irreverence toward his own creations. He adds frilly ornamentation — sprightly mallets, daffy strings — to stern rhythms and ominous textures, rubberizes everything, and makes it sound natural and elegant. Jolly guitar noodling prances above the album's deepest, darkest bass. Dear reappears on "My Plans," in which he lucidly intones, over a disorienting cluster of slow-motion rhythms and vocals, "When I notice the world is falling apart, I will run a bath." Yes, Louie, you are leaving your body.

Customer Reviews

beauty

amygdala is a typical koze. weird in a fun way, playful and also straight forward. an album you can listen to over and over again. you'll always hear something new.

Audio Bliss

Sit back relax and listen to this album with really good headphones and you will be in for an adventure. Totally original and organic looping of bizarre sounds and vocals in almost every track. Some tracks offer really amazing and wide soundscapes. I think DJ Koze has almost invented a whole new genre within techno.

Gorgeous

If you like good music you'll love this. Simple. Koze is an amazing producer!

Biography

Born: 1972 in Flensburg, Germany

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most adventurous and consistent techno producers of the 2000s and 2010s, Hamburg, Germany native Stefan Kozalla was known first for his exceptional DJ skills. In 1988, at the age of 16, he finished second in a DMC (Disco Mix Club) contest. During the '90s, he was a member of hip-hop group Fischmob and debuted later in the decade as Adolf Noise. Music Is Okay, issued in 2000 on Yo Mama, was his first mix album, released prior to the formation of International Pony — a whimsical dance...
Full Bio
Amygdala, DJ Koze
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