- If every track from a label is a curveball, do they still count as curveballs? This might sound like a koan, but DJ Koze and Marcus Fink seem to have come up with an answer in the form of Pampa. Omm...
Anyway, Nathan Fake seems to be moving away steadily from his drifting, naive shoegaze days into experimental, ever more edit-y and challenging territory, and "Xmas Rush" is along these lines. Despite a honied vocal line sliding stickily in the cracks between, the synths have so much weight and edge—even when their knobs aren't being twisted madly to elicit wild laser ray FX—that all the stress of the Christmas rush is indeed delivered. Not that this is a particularly Christmas-y song; the tones are pleasant enough, in a kind of silly, drunk elf kind of way, but the kind of irony and ridiculousness you hear from people like Shitmat and his Wrong Music crew is there too. In fact, I'd venture to say that this spirit would make it even more appropriate to spin in the middle of July, just to add to the randomness. But if all that sounds too much like hard work, the dub version with the digital release cleans things up a bit and reveals a crisper, more danceable beat.
Kozalla, meanwhile, jams his tongue firmly into his cheek as usual before producing a brittle click-clack of a rhythm filled out very sparsely with thin digital tones and bits of sub bass, and overlaying the best known work from Jamaican dub poet Michael Smith. The indecipherable lyrics and inclusion of a translation with the press pack suggested to me the usual Koze sense of humour, but after reading about Smith's outspoken political views and untimely death as a result, and the fact that this is billed as a "tribute," I wasn't so sure. Could this be a serious side to Koze? The sparse construction likewise leaves the listener unsure of whether to groove or muse. What is certain, though, is that it's yet another wildly inventive outing from Pampa, with which the world is a better place.
A1 Nathan Fake - Xmas Rush
A2 DJ Koze - Mi Cyaan Believe It