It’s been five years since the veteran German dance-music auteur DJ Koze released Amygdala, his last proper album, though he’s kept himself plenty busy in the years since. And today, Koze officially follows that album up with Knock Knock, his new album. It’s a long, warm, lush collection of oblique, longing melodies and restrained, immaculately programmed big-room thumps.
Koze came up with the Kompakt Records crew in the early part of the millennium, making elegantly withholding minimal house music, music that remade its genre with a sort of architectural sparseness. But Koze’s ear for melody has always made his work stand out, even among his peers. And on Knock Knock, he has some big-name guests helping him out, including vocalists like Róisín Murphy, José González, Lambchop frontman Kurt Wagner, and Arrested Development leader Speech. (There’s also a prominent Bon Iver sample in there, as well.)
Even with all those guests, Knock Knock isn’t a showy album. It’s calm and confident in the way it builds landscapes out of beats and whooshes. Listeners who are immersed in the world of auteurist dance music are already calling Knock Knock one of the year’s best albums. I need to spend more time with it myself, but it sure is pretty. We’ve posted the early tracks “Seeing Aliens,” “Illumination,” and “Pick Up.” And now that it’s out, you can use Spotify to stream Knock Knock below.
Knock Knock is out now on Pampa Records.