ICYMI: DJ Koze

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Words by Josh Pavlou


With DJ Koze’s Australian return the time is right to look back on why the Pampa Records boss is so highly revered…

DJ Koze is the latest talented German producer to capture the attention of Australian dance music lovers, partly owing to his mysterious persona and mainly due to his adventurous musical style.

The Hamburg native adopts an eclectic mix of atmospheric house, ambient techno and breakbeat styles, which clearly reference his humble beginnings as part of a hip-hop group in the early 90’s. Since this time, DJ Koze (aka Stefan Kozalla) has soared to great heights, particularly owing to releases via the globally renowned Kompakt label.

DJ Koze has never been afraid to stand out from the crowd, and it is his chameleon-like persona that fuels his production as an artist and intrigues us as an audience.

Here are 5 captivating moments from DJ Koze…


Låpsley - Operator (DJ Koze's Extended Disco Version)

DJ Koze is the producer known for steering seemingly ‘great pop vehicles into club bombs’ by way of some ‘simple tweaking, not full-scale reinvention’ (NPR Music 2016). All the elements of the original tune remain in-play, including an irresistible cowbell, a steady kick-drum and a receiver tone that Låpsley is left to answer in the foreground. DJ Koze’s extended disco edit has left us speechless and asking why ‘he doesn’t call me, so put me through, operator’.


DJ Koze – XTC

Now, although we don’t formally condone drug taking, we do give a big green light to those indulging in some ‘XTC’. This hypnotic deep house joint is a serotonin infused masterpiece, which encapsulates the German producer’s ‘less is more’ attitude. Key to its brilliance is a spoken word monologue which begins by chanting; "Many people are experimenting with the drug ecstasy”. This may seem a little brazen from a DJ who no doubt dabbles in an eccy here or there, but this seems to only enhance ‘XTC’s’ listenability.


DJ Koze - Track ID anyone?

No, we aren’t trawling through DJ Koze’s Soundcloud or reading comments on his Youtube channel. ‘Track ID anyone?’ is the legitimate name of the first track from DJ Koze’s 2013 record, Amygdala and features enigmatic producer Caribou on vocals. This joint is filled with warm percussion and solid melodies which create a familiar, moody atmosphere. Such is the versatility of this track, it may be blazed from a set of Funktion-One speakers at a DJ Koze day party to add some groovy vibes or utilised at a chilled out house party to get things suitably toasty.


DJ Koze – Dr Fuck

‘DR Fuck’ is certainly one of DJ Koze’s darker joints but showcases the weird, whacky and wonderfully sinister side of the German Producer. The track draws the listener down the rabbit hole into a purgatory-like state but it’s wicked samples, and broken beats are just as enthralling as Koze’s more housier numbers. Give this a listen if you know what is right for you.


DJ Koze - DJ-Kicks Mix 2016

Sit back, put your feet up and get ‘cosy’ with DJ Koze for one of the more impressive DJ Kicks mixes doing the rounds. It is equally important to indulge in the track selection of a DJ on top of his game as it is his own productions. The German throws back to his Hip-Hop roots featuring some Freddie Gibbs & Madlib with ‘Shame’ and bizarrely features spoken word by Hollywood actor, William Shatner in ‘It Hasn’t Happened Yet’. An eclectic mix that deserves a shout out. Wrap this around your earholes.


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Catch Koze at smalltown at B3 with DJ Koze, Charlotte De Witte and Gerd Janson hosted at the Etihad Stadium carpark in Melbourne’s CBD on September 27th, 2018. Tickets have sold out, but you can use the resale facility here to find one: https://tixel.com.au/smalltownb3

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DJ Koze will also be in Sydney to play the Moments Like This event alongside Charlotte de Witte and Gerd Janson at the Greenwood Hotel.