DJ Koze - Knock Knock
The hype is very real for this new album from DJ Koze. All my music friends have been going nuts over this record and the reviews have it sailing high above damn near anything electronic that has come out this year. With than in mind I had to dive in to the German producers psychedelic world. The main focus of Knock Knock is memory, where it comes from and how we experience it. The difference is instead of trying to make you remember something DJ Koze is letting you into his world, where things are just a bit askew and beauty pushes through to be the most important piece of the album. This all seems a bit high minded for an album with very few lyrics, but these emotions bleed through and come right to the surface. On "Bonfire" He almost dares you not to like the track with pulsing deep synths seemingly off beat, but then creates this atmosphere that is simply infectious. The way DJ Koze approaches dance music is a bit different than most finding this middle ground somewhere between Jamie xx and Bonobo. He finds a very natural sound and a very organic baseline but everything else is heavily electronic with computer sounds bleeding through almost throughout. "Moving in a Liquid" has all these drops that if you've ever heard any dance music you are bound to recognize as the bounce in and out. "Colors of Autumn" is similar in that it takes what could be a simple soul song and pushes it through this incredible electronic filter.
This album more than anything feels like a true experience. DJ Koze is taking you on a journey rather than just playing some songs. The experience however feels very singular and "festival" in nature. This music is tailor-made for festival stages, beeked out people gyrating in a field. But it is kind of magical in that sense creating this inclusive environment that on one level is very Burning Man-esque, but on another level highly inclusive and reflective of the wider culture as a whole. You almost have to be ready to experience this album in it's full glory rather than just casual listen, there is to much going on to let it in one ear and out the other. "Muddy Funster" which becomes a record about the passing of time and the toils of modern day life connects in this really odd way. The vocal keeps you at arms length with the effect, but cuts right into you with it's words. Knock Knock definitely has it's own aesthetic, and really it's own world wrapped up in it. The gold of Knock Knock is not right on it's surface, you have to do a bit of digging and listening to truly allow it to take you to the places it wants to go. This record does however sound absolutely fantastic and in a way that very few albums do. That alone would be enough to make it standout, but DJ Koze pushes it further giving us a truly complex and exciting album.
8.0 out of 10