“I dig it,” is what the editor of this very website remarked in a recent email exchange on Cosmic Waves–the newest EP by Berlin beatsmith Robot Koch. And what’s not to dig? Koch fuses a deeply-engrained knowledge and appreciation of the past with some of the most original thoughts known to mankind –or at least this side of post-Low End beatmania.
Glitches and quirks tumble over the remains of decaying synths, soaked in deep atmospherics of boom-bap melancholia and in a whole-hearted desire to not keep anything the way it is. A track like “Follow Birds” could be rapped over by MF DOOM, while the title track might feel at home in a Jamie xx podcast. “Sludge” (on which Koch is assisted by Kuhn) might be the least phallic piece of trap music you’ve heard so far –until you notice it works just as fine as a house tune.
On Cosmic Waves, Robot Koch and his numerous collaborators craft a sample-percussive wonderland of its uniquely own kind. Most of the time, you won’t be able to put a genre-tag on any of this shit until about halfway through the track. Sometimes you’re just forced to make up your very own. How about jazz-garage for “Never Will” (featuring Rain Dog)? Or perhaps 2-Swing?
In fact, what Koch does on his follow-up EP to last year’s The Other Side on Berlin’s influential Project: Mooncircle label, is that he keeps you guessing. And isn’t that what makes cosmic waves such an appealing image? Sending us into unknown territories, guiding us into an unknown future with nothing but fat beats blasting through our aeronautically-modified cyber-phones?
- Anthony Obst