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What It Is
For the past 20 years, Koze is the clown prince of German electronic music. First as a hip-hop DJ and then later as a outre house producer. He’s unique because he takes a lot of chances, and he does a lot of stuff that is formally interesting — check out the clomping wood box on “Magical Boy” — but his tracks feel less serious and more whimsical and fun. His previous album, 2013’s Amygdala — is one of the most adventurous and approachable electronic albums of this decade, and his upcoming album, Knock Knock, is one of the more anticipated albums of this year. “Illumination” is the second single from the album.
What It Sounds Like
“Illuminations” is surprisingly straightforward. As where some of the producer’s other work felt as if it wandered into its own brilliance, this track feels more focused and immediate. The drums are forefronted and looped over the entirety of the track, and though there’s an occasional guitar line or synth swell, the basic structure never veers into abstraction. The track is build around the punchy vocals of Moloko frontwoman Róisín Murphy. Unlike other Koze tracks, “Illumination” is hard to imagine as an instrumental — the production is great, but it largely services the vocals. It’s a little bit of a stretch to call this a banger, but it’s has enough of a pulse that it’s not difficult to imagine it lighting up certain dance floors.
Suggested Playlist Placement
A “wake and bake” playlist for mornings when you never went to slept.