The alphabet according to DJ Koze
Born and raised in the northern German town of Flensburg, Stefan Kozalla aka DJ Koze has evolved over the past two decades from enfant- to savant- to the avant-terrible of German dance music. A runner up in the national DMC competition in 1991, he first made waves with Hamburg-based Dada-hip hop collective Fischmob before turning his focus towards minimal house and techno, releasing numerous 12-inches and LPs on Kompakt, Get Physical and, most recently, his own Pampa imprint. Koze’s trademark vocal tweaking has made him a much sought after remixer, cutting and pitch-shifting everyone from Hildegard Knef to Caribou. Photo by Hans Martin Sewcz. You can read more ABCs here.
A as in AMYGDALA:
Home of the sabre-toothed tiger. The angst aggregator. A built-in error in our mind machine. Totally redundant, but mighty nonetheless.
B as in BEER:
Bitches brew. Real men drink young coconut juice.
C as in CARIBOU:
A kindred spirit. His music struck a chord in me that kept on vibrating, and when I looked up, my desktop showed three mix versions of his tunes… made by me.
D as in DEEP HOUSE:
E as in ESTROGEN:
I shall prefer Estragon.
F as in FAILURE:
There is no such thing. You just do what you can’t.
G as in GERMAN HIP HOP:
“Sieg-sieg-siegiddy-heil.” That’s Mel Brooks, summing up “German” rap in the title song of his remake of Ernst Lubitsch’s To Be or Not to Be. Of course, it isn’t like that at all, but what do you care? Right, thought so.
H as in brain researcH:
It teaches me about blind spots, the creation of reality, the illusion of ego, and all that jazz.
I as in INNER SPACE:
I am very interested in psychogeography. Friends have mentioned that my music implies travel through the inner landscapes of my mind. I tell them that they don’t understand my music at all. My amygdala is working just fine—why do you ask?
J as in JEW’S HARP:
I lack any valid expertise in playing this instrument. Bear in mind that I was the renowned maestro of another discipline of oral pleasantries, though. See my track “Maulguss”.
K as in 20 years of KOMPAKT:
There’s no place like home. Then you reach puberty.
L as in LAWRENCE:
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.
M as in MANTRA:
The main ancestor of the sampled loop, obviously. The divine joy of repetition. Was the sampler invented in India? I don’t doubt it.
N as in NOISE:
… or as in Noise, Adolf. A twenty-first century schizoid man. The bipolar prophet of a future that never arrives. Not my words. Uttered by the other.
O as in OM:
You might argue that some of my music is the sound of the OM moment.
P as in POLITICS in music:
Everything is implicitly political, but explicit politics in music will never ever be my business. Like, ever.
Q as in QUO VADIS, remix?
If I knew I would tell you. I really would. There must be an opportunity to tailor a totally different, new dress.
R as in REALNESS:
I prefer kindness. Realness is generally unreliable. Each one of us decides our own reality. In hip-hop many make the mistake of confusing realness with honesty or authenticity. They also mistake this generally for a good thing. Just imagine Mel Brooks’ Hitler rap without the irony: “Don’t be stupid, be a smarty / Come and join the Nazi party.” Know what I mean?
S as in ST. PAULI, Hamburg:
We live in St. Georg, baby.
T as in TELEPATHY:
They call me the antenna of St. Georg.
U as in UDON:
After quitting music I will open an udon restaurant. The specialty will be kos(h)i udon with ume plum.
V as in VIOLENCE:
Again, I prefer kindness. But go tell that to the sabre-toothed kitty cat in my amygdala.
W as in WACK RHYMES:
As if the Stieber Twins never happened. Deren Reime sind Schweine. [“Their rhymes are swines.”]
X as in XXX:
It means Kiss Kiss Kiss. Don’t you people know anything?
Y as in YOUNG COCONUT WATER:
The electrolyte enhancer to start the day after. Or any day.
Z as in ZAPPA:
Big influence in my early days but too stressful for me today. Did I get old? ~
DJ Koze’s Amygdala is out now on Pampa. This text appeared first in Electronic Beats Magazine N° 33 (Spring 2013). Read the full issue on issuu.com.
Published April 23, 2013.