The darkest Radio Koko gets is on "Gangsta," with its eerie, RZA-referencing piano samples and dubbed-out vocals. But it turns out to be cheeky playacting, as Kovács gradually flips his swaggering shuffle out of the shadows and into the light. That trick appears in the effervescent "Lighthouse," too, and it's another upward turn, despite its already funky starting place. No matter where he begins on Radio Koko, Kovács is always looking to get higher.
Stripped-down highlight "Malon," which features fellow Swede Marcus Price, jumps between heavy 808 rumbles and lush piano chords, blending the disparate sources into a hypnotic standoff. Satisfying as the massive, twitchy drum machine feels on its own, it works best as the bedrock of a spacious piano-house approximation. "Malon" may be the most simplistic track, but "Pantalón" is the only outlier—and only because it's made primarily of dusty '80s drums and Latin freestyle samples. Kovács' synthy homage is both a little silly and completely ideal in the right situation. But as Radio Koko suggests, all you need for the right situation is a change of mood.