Album Review: DJ Koze / ‘Amygdala’ (Pampa)

DJ Koze Amygdala

★★★★☆

Koze through the looking glass is a reading of bedtime stories for cosmic disco romantics. A follower of its own path and bringing an enchantment honored by the album cover’s mediaeval superhero impersonation, its light-fingered grip holds firm throughout. Heavy is the path less travelled, winding up like clockwork until the springs go loco when it does, with sighing vocals indicative of the reassurances Koze consistently offers.

Deep house settlers keep things simple, working a little heartening charm that lets you reach your own woozy highs and joys, whether by long unbroken background synth lines (“Royal Asscher Cut”), the impeccably preened (“Ich Schreib’ Dir Ein Buch”) or just by knowing that Koze will take his time until you’re soul-deep in the beats, with a plinking set of chimes here or a Beams-worthy appearance by Matthew Dear there.

“Magical Boy” notifies that spring has sprung, complete with the sound of bounding bunnies and a cast of quirks. “Das Wort” holds a flashlight to the face of Dirk von Lowtzow, but becomes a cuddly folk-in-toytown detour, part of another facet that Koze might spring something new at any moment despite gambolling down a pretty preordained yellow brick road. “Homesick” is more a neo-soul format with a Susanne Vega-style lead, and “Marilyn Whirlwind” jumps out at you with a rare lack of sensitivity but plenty more funk and electricity compared to the headswims Koze coaches.

File under: Swahimi, Apparat, Noze

Matt Oliver