Clash (magazine) - "Koze is a humble alchemist, transmuting between the leylines of buoyant and fluffy, darker and diligent."
Illustrator: Sabine Bories.
DJ Koze has never been one to play by the rules, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that his contribution to !K7's seminal DJ-Kicks series (its 50th edition) isn't a typical 70-minute peaks-and-valleys club mix. Instead, Koze's laid-back, eclectic selection showcases his love for left-field hip-hop and pop as well as dance music, coming closer to an entry in the defunct Back to Mine series. His signature offbeat sense of humor is still intact, as displayed by the computer voice introducing Koze's own "I Haven't Been Everywhere But It's on My List," a glitchy, J Dilla-esque hip-hop instrumental which kicks off the disc. His taste in hip-hop runs toward abstract American artists such as cLOUDDEAD (here remixed by Boards of Canada), Madlib, and Homeboy Sandman, and he often includes instrumentals or his own edits of tracks to fit his taste. The mix takes an unexpectedly sorrowful turn around the midway mark, starting with Broadcast's spare, heartbreaking "Tears in the Typing Pool," then moving into a Daniel Lanois slide guitar instrumental, which segues into a 2 Bears vocal mashed up with a Hi-Tek instrumental, followed by William Shatner's surprisingly poignant spoken word piece "It Hasn't Happened Yet." When Koze finally gets around to mixing in some house tracks, they're midtempo and bittersweet rather than high-energy floor fillers, and uniformly excellent, particularly Frank & Tony's sublime "Bring the Sun." One wonders how astonishing the mix would be if it had consisted entirely of tracks like this, but the variety is refreshing, and Koze's adventurous spirit is always admirable. ~ Paul Simpson