One of the most adventurous and consistent techno producers of the 2000s and 2010s, Hamburg, Germany native Stefan Kozalla was known
first for his exceptional DJ skills. In 1988, at the age of 16, he finished second in a DMC (Disco Mix Club) contest. During the '90s, he was a
member of hip-hop group Fischmob and debuted later in the decade as Adolf Noise. Music Is Okay, issued in 2000 on Yo Mama, was his first mix album,
released prior to the formation of International Pony — a whimsical dance act that was signed to Columbia in Europe. It was around this time that
Kozalla became one of the Kompakt label's leading artists, beginning with September 2003's "Der Säger Von St. Georg" (a track on Speicher
11) and a three-track 12" titled The Geklöppel Continues. The following month, he recorded his second commercially released mix, All People Is My
Friends, which was released on Kompakt the following January. He continued to release thrilling, rule-breaking singles and remixes, as well as albums:
Wo Die Rammelwolle Fliegt (Buback, 2005), Kosi Comes Around (Kompakt, 2005) and, on his own Pampa label, Amygdala (2013). Reincarnations: The Remix
Chapter 2001-2009 (Get Physical) and Reincarnations: The Remix Chapter 2009-2014 (Pampa) collected his considerable, often spellbinding, remix work.
Koze had the honor of compiling the 50th installment of !K7's celebrated DJ-Kicks series, showcasing his love for leftfield hip-hop and pop as
well as house.
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The DJ-Kicks series was born in Berlin in 1995, the first officially licensed DJ mix series available commercially. Over the
past 20 years, the series has maintained a steady finger on the pulse of electronic music, earning a reputation as an essential barometer for what’s
happening right now in the world of dance music. To celebrate the 50th entry in the series, we’ve brought the series back to Germany with a very
special mix from the iconoclastic DJ Koze.
Characteristically refusing to hew to any particular genre or style, Koze’s mix nonetheless s a uniform color, incorporating underground hip-hop,
melodic techno, indie pop, and vintage songwriting for a selection of tracks that is at once nostalgic and futuristic, melancholy and joyful.
In order to incorporate a variety of styles, Koze d a number of custom edits and blends for the set. He also takes a novel approach to the concept of
a “mix,” often eschewing long overlays in favor of serendipitous juxtapositions. “During the day I don’t have the requirement of hearing
anything mixed in strict time,” he says. “Instead I focus on harmoniousness. The idea is more to the appearance of a radio show, in the vein of
John Peel for example. There is a giant cosmos of music running through my filter.”
DJ-Kicks also includes a new DJ Koze original, in the form of the dilla-esque “I Have Not Been Everywhere But It’s On My List.” With its fragile
soul samples, pinched, anxious-expressive vocal snippets, and sweet guitar riffs, the track sets a luxurious tone for the mix. The mood is gentle,
laid back, extremely open and willingly to take risks.