DJ Koze has forged a reputation as a dance music Renaissance darling. Besides his work as DJ Koze, Stefan Kozalla has kept himself busy under his electronica alias Adolf Noise and with wry funk posse International Pony. But even with 2005's excellent Kosi Comes Around and a series of consistently inventive singles like "All the Time" and "I Want to Sleep"—RA's number one track of last year—Kozalla's perhaps most appreciated for his playful, oft superior takes on the music of other artists. Perhaps that's because you never really know what you're going to get from a DJ Koze remix—he's as apt to turn out jumpy, full-sweat house as he is to leave his print in reflective home stereo fare.
Fittingly, his first remix assortment, Reincarnations, reflects Koze's diversified tastes, working as a conceptualized assembly of some of Koze's better work over the last nine years or so. The album's sequenced expertly, attentive to its own pace and cohesion, with a few points of breath, moments designed to sit and stretch again astride the steamier cuts. Wechsel Garland's "Swim," for instance, becomes a folky, open-field pastiche that Harry Nilsson might have admired, and Koze's Broken CD mix of Garland's "Mutes" later cuts the lights for a span of minimalist ambience.
For all of its birdsong moments though, Reincarnations excels in late night speeds. Koze's mix of Matias Aguayo's cheeky smash "Minimal" widens its grin, upping the glistening disco appeal with polyester synth swirls. He pulls the same trick on Matthew Dear's "Elementary Lover," highlighting soupy strings and a loungey, wide-swing disco romp; the track feels slippery, half out of time with its own rhythms. Well known for his manipulation of vocals, Koze twists Dear's voice into chirpy bird calls, resulting in an effect at once bewildering and totally joyous.
One of Reincarnations' many highlights is the schizo jazz skronk of Nôze's "Danse Avec Moi"; Koze hits his stride near the end as it dissolves into Cadenza-like tropicalism. He scatters its parts to emphasize how disparate everything sounds: now just staccato claps, blurts of horn, rhythmic gurgles and Dani Siciliano multitracked in gorgeous choir pulses. The real masterpiece for Koze however is his Pink Moon Remix of Sascha Funke's "Mango Cookie." Combining two of Funke's cuts—"Mango" and "A Fortune Cookie Symphony"—Koze shortens its synths, clips Funke's voice into Willner-like samples and plays up the industrial bass throb into a woozy, multi-part floor symphony both evocative and disorienting. The result straddles both deep house and neo-trance.
Though the Pink Moon mix functions as Reincarnations' final peak moment, the album would have nothing left to exhaust if Koze weren't as patient and cagey with the record's sequencing and the caliber of both its milder and its thick-heat stretches. Simply put, Reincarnations is kind of essential for those of us who'd like all of these tracks in one place. Or as Koze himself says in the intro, "for those who like this kind of music, the music is very good."
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Tracklist: DJ Koze - Reincarnations 01. Hi Friends!
02. Matthew Dear - Elementary Lover (DJ Koze Remix)
03. Dj Koze vs Sid Le Rok - Naked (DJ Koze Rmx)
04. Battles - Atlas (DJ Koze Remix)
05. Heiko Voss - Think About You (DJ Koze Remix)
06. Matias Aguayo - Minimal (DJ Koze Remix)
07. Wechsel Garland - Swim (Kosi's Swim Edit)
08. Nóze ft Dani Siciliano - Danse Avec Moi (DJ Koze Rework)
09. Lawrence - Rabbit Tube (DJ Koze Remix)
10. Wechsel Garland - Mutes (DJ Koze's Broken CD Mix)
11. Ben Watt – Guinea Pig (Vocal Variation with Julia Biel) (DJ Koze Remix)
12. Malaria! Vs Chicks On Speed – Kaltes Klares Wasser (DJ Koze & The Tease Remix)
13. Sascha Funke - Mango Cookie (DJ Koze's Pink Moon Remix)
14. Hildegard Knef - Ich Liebe Euch (DJ Koze Remix)
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