Axel Boman - Holy Love

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  • It's not too hard to see why DJ Koze signed "Holy Love" for his Pampa label. It sounds strikingly like International Pony, in fact, especially given the flourishes of chicken-scratch guitar, the loose drums and live bass, and R&B vocals that coast just this side of parody. But there's nothing goofy about the track. Fluid, expertly shaped and layered, it's a straight up lover's jam, and as sensual as can be. If anything, "Purple Drank" is even deeper. There'll be no mistaking this for any other chord-heavy house tune, thanks to a vocal refrain—"I woke up with your name on my lips"—that recurs throughout the tune without ever wearing out its welcome. (The title, a reference to Southern rappers' cough-syrup-laced beverage of choice, presumably explains the chopped-and-screwed lilt to the sample—husky, slurred, hypnotic.) But it's not just the salient features that make the track exceptional; anyone could take a phrase like that and pair it with a moody organ chord progression over a jacking house beat. Hell, we're drowning in readymades like that. But "Purple Drank" takes those pieces and runs as far as it can with them—at least, as far as someone can get when they're wading through codeine. From the dubby breakdown to the long arc of the whole track, it's a trip, and surprisingly forceful given its soft sounds and slow tempo. (The bassline and handclaps work overtime to keep things lively.) "Not So Much" is a beautiful, bright-eyed house tune that plays a re-sampled piano solo, awkward and jittery, against spongy, muted chords. You can really hear the difference between sampling and synthesis here: as with Pepe Bradock's music, everything here feels slightly unstable, with every raw edge creating a tiny filigree of discord. The result, surprisingly, is far smoother and softer than you'd ever get with mere machines. More than Bradock, though, the track feels like an old Pal Joey track, from the vocal sample ("every time," which sounds an awful lot like Joey's "Party Time") to the four-minute running time.
  • Tracklist
      A Holy Love feat J Jonasson B1 Purple Drank B2 Not So Much