DJ Koze "XTC"

The man from Pampa gets existential with this dreamy standout single.
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koze pampa xtc

The inimitable DJ Koze has followed up his critically acclaimed 2013 album, Amygdala, with the masterful, dreamlike “XTC”, released on his own Pampa Records. As the title of the track suggest, there’s a blissfulness to “XTC”, starting off with airy synth pads wafting over a gentle kick, slowlying intensify and rewarding the listener over the course of the eight-minute sonic journey.

Using the simplest of elements to create a deep entrancing mood, Koze eschews much of the playfulness typical of his productions, instead gradually transitioning the track from a sweet celestial slow-burner into a demanding serotonin come-down. Around the three-minute mark of the track, a pitched-down robotic female voice is introduced with a sedated and deadpan spoken-word snippet, “I heard you say once that a lie is sweet in the beginning and bitter in the end, and truth is bitter in the beginning and sweet in the end.” Sharp hi-hats begin to cut through the haze and the repeating chord progression tightens as the voice continues, “Is the drug like the lie and meditation the truth, or am I missing something that could really help me?”

We don’t get a definitive answer from Koze to the question posed—the Hamburg-based producer has deployed his tactics on the listener by forcing them to turn within and find the answer, with this gorgeous atmospheric track shimmering onwards.