It has been released last Friday and we highly recommend to listen to it. Here you can do it by stream. The 78 minutes long trip features vocal appearances by Apparat, Matthew Dear, Ada, and Milosh amongst others. The album dances between House and Techno, shows DJ Koze's love for HipHop, and delivers overall a sort of edgy Pop full of comically samples, off-kilter melodies, twisted grooves, and sorcerous soundscapes. We talked with the oddball producer from Hamburg about his psychedelic trip.
Compared to your first album your new one does not offer so many heavy clapping Techno tracks. How come?
DJ Koze: Well one heavy banger is on it. I wanted to make an self-contained album. I'm not so interested in heavy Techno anymore. This one track Marilyn Whirlwind is one of those dull bangers that you can communicate quickly. I like that. And it is a track that was ready in three hours. Most of the rest took a long time to make. When I do an album I want to do my best. And that is far beyond Techno I think. I didn't work on it the whole time. I had breaks in-between. Then I took a look at all I had produced, arranged it and compiled it into something that makes sense for me.
And into something that only DJ Koze can do.
DJ Koze: Well I don't know. For me personally, it always makes me nervous when an artist is hard to categorize. There are artists that make a House record, then one with HipHop beats, then an Ambient longplayer. This kind of versatility makes me nervous. And all this is in my music too. That is why it bothers me somehow. Therefore in the beginning of my new record I put four 118 BPM-tracks because everyone will think: ah it's a Techno record that starts quietly. Then you have tenderized the people and then you go musically in all directions. But if I begin with a track that is difficult it all will be difficult. So I cheat a bit in the beginning and then I drop the more sophisticated stuff.
For your new album you've made very unusual press pictures (see gallery below). Sometimes you're seen as a shepherd. Then as a motorcyclist. Are these personalities related to your own one?
DJ Koze: No the idea was this: on the press pictures for my frist album Koze comes around I used this mask that covers my face. This time it's the other way around so that my face looks normal but everything around is a mask. The photo with the painter I like particularly because I am a painter too. I painted the picture that you can see on the cover of the latest Ada album. There are some more pictures that we didn't use like me as a Latin lover or a Kung Fu fighter on a roof. Exquisite stuff. But to be honest: I'm a bit panic about joking like this. I think maybe cut my own throat. But then when I look at a normal photo of me I think that the press pictures look much more better.
Due to your job as a DJ you're often in a strange reality: the weekends without sleep, then at the beginning of the week in bed and then the weekend already starts again. Does the title of your album refer to this reality?
DJ Koze: The title refers to a part of the brain in which the fear arises. That's all. My life is dominated by fear you know. But my reality as a DJ is heavy. Especially if you are also a producer. Whenever I have time and inclination to make music I have to get out of the tour mode. I can not make music between Tuesday and Friday. I need six or eight weeks without anything else. And only if I do it so intense and dedicated I can do something sustainable. Something which is long-term and more then just a Techno track. I am interested in music and to do it good I have to pull back. I need rest. When I do this in the beginning I am not inspired at all, then something emerges and I dive deep into it. That is the privilege of an artist. Many think it's easy. But not many people can just dropout from normal life and do something creative. I need to do it that way and it is heavy. When I have much other things to do I would never get a real deep idea that comes around like a phoenix from the ashes. I think you can not make art just by the way. And with electronic music it is even more difficult. When you are in a band you have other persons who can come up with a rhythm idea or a melody. When you do electronic music you need to do it all by yourself. And then you also should develop always something totally new. Heavy! But that's also the great thing about it.
Your record is also a grower, how come?
DJ Koze: With age you are faster saturated. We listened to so much music. And always when you produce something it has to pass this knowledge. When it did you mostly say: that is something relevant that I want to release. You feel by yourself that it got quality. And I think that is why my tracks can grow for certain listeners.
But that would mean that young artists can't do it because of a lack of knowledge.
DJ Koze: No - something fresh, impetuous, and naive can also be fantastic. The trial and error method offers great possibilities and sometimes something irresistible comes out of it. But for me and my friends I think: we party this kind of music we love for such a long time so we have to deliver something really big. Not just another track. It needs to be something that speaks for itself. The world is flooded by music so you need to be special. And that is my aim.
It sounds like you incorporate your whole personality into your art - do you think there is a need to talk about it also?
DJ Koze: Sure - people who are interested in what you do want to hear more then just the music. But I would love to say it just like Gerhard Richter: my music know more about me than I do.