- Pampa has spent the last seven years curating one of the most distinctively oddball house catalogs, which means its first compilation, a 19-track collection of exclusives, might seem daunting at first. But DJ Koze and Marcus Fink are savvy with selecting artists who can surprise and satisfy fans of their label's buoyant and off-kilter dance music. Label favorites like Ada and Die Vögel join new additions like Jamie xx and Gold Panda on DJ Koze Presents Pampa Vol. 1, which arrives packed with the wide-eyed grins we've come to expect.
Given the range of Vol. 1, it's surprising how cohesive the selections are. Each track shimmers with Pampa's kind of light-hearted and hyper-melodic joy—including the lush pop-house of Matthew Herbert's remix of "Lost And Found" by Lianne La Havas and the dusty, downtempo funk in Nasrawi's beautiful "Bump With You." Axel Boman shapes another of his three-in-the-morning comedowns on "In The Dust Of This Planet," while Roman Flügel turns in bright ambient closer "9 Years."
The second disc sees Pampa pulling out all the stops. Isolée's slippery, day-glo "I Like It Here Can I Stay?" might be the best track he's crafted since his Playhouse years. Jamie xx and DJ Koze (under the name Kosi Kos) collaborate on the sweltering house stormer "Come We Go," which only seems to increase its energy as it goes. Arguably the compilation's finest track, Acid Pauli's "Nana" swells and expands into the kind of expressive epic associated with labels like Border Community or Traum.
Such an extensive collection is bound to have have its missteps. The sputtering hip-hop of Funkstörung's "I Does It" sounds totally out of place, and Jackmate's "Pacemaker" is pretty generic sample-based house. Likewise, Dntel's "Snowshoe," with its chopped pianos and stubby bass, ends the first disc on a limp note, and the shaker-laced beat and ersatz synth melodies of Mount Kimbie's "Bells 5" are underwhelming. But all quibbles here are minor. For a project of its size and vision, Vol. 1 is remarkably coherent. It's a testament to the label's endurance and vitality that they assembled so many top-notch exclusive tracks from friends both old and new.
01. Lianne La Havas - Lost & Found (Matthew Herbert Remix)
02. Roman Flügel - 9 Years (DJ Koze Remix)
03. Ada - You And Me
04. Axel Boman - In The Dust Of This Planet
05. Nasrawi - Bump With You
06. Funkstörung - I Does It
07. Jackmate - Pacemaker feat. Nik Reiff
08. Lawrence - Glow
09. Dntel - Snowshoe
01. Josef - I Wonder
02. Michel Cleis - Un Prince
03. Die Vögel - Everything
04. Mount Kimbie - Bells 5
05. Stimming - No. 17
06. Isolée - I Like It Here Can I Stay?
07. Jamie xx & Kosi Kos - Come We Go
08. Gold Panda - Black Voices
09. Acid Pauli - Nana
10. Roman Flügel - 9 Years