Cassio Kohl - Broken EP on Amadeus Records

Words by: Carlos Hawthorn
Posted: 15/3/13 10:12

Listening to Cassio Kohl's 'Broken' EP, many may marvel at the considered maturity of it all – pretty impressive for a debut release. In fact Cassio has been at it for quite a while, releasing records under his birth name Christiaan Kouijzer since as early as 2000. Back then it was all hard dance and nosebleed techno before Kouijzer's tastes moved towards the more temperate pastures of deep, jazzy house. As Cassio Kohl, Kouijzer continues his exploration of the latter, his debut EP simultaneously marking London-run label Amadeus Records' first foray into 2013.

What immediately strikes the listener upon first hearing the EP is Kohl's pervasive penchant for vocals. A prominent feature across all four tracks, his ability to moderate and manipulate both sung and spoken excerpts adds differing degrees of vibrancy to his toned, dance-floor frameworks. Indeed, title track and opener 'Broken' is main room deep house of the highest order, marrying not one but two heartstring-plucking vocals against a thick, pulsating groove. Warm, electric chords enrich the record's overall palette, adding colour to the track's bumpy, but ultimately melancholic ride.

'Legendary' keeps things a little lighter, looping a tough-talking spoken-word sample over an uncomplicated backdrop of soothing, metallic pads, sweeping strings and a snarling bassline. Both solid and sonically harmonious, this is a DJ tool to keep the party bouncing in-between your bag's bigger hits.

Hits, for example, like 'Always Existed'. Representing the EP's energetic apex, nowhere are Kohl's adept sampling skills made more apparent. Layering a wickedly articulate and fiery monologue on the history of hip hop over his sturdiest, most upfront house beat to date, Kohl encases a passing reference to the hip-house traditions of yesteryear within a direct and effective modern shell.

'The Realist Love' wraps up the release with suitable sensuality, revisiting the more emotive terrain initially trodden by 'Broken'. Strong, hot-blooded chords fuse with yet more effortlessly seductive vocals, this time in the form of heartfelt cries of male longing, to produce an infectious, and still perfectly upright, slice of club-centric house. It concludes a stellar debut from Cassio Kohl which oozes a classy and sophisticated understanding of that which makes people move.

Artist: Cassio Kohl
Title: Broken EP
Label: Amadeus Records

TracklistBrokenLegendaryAlways ExistedThe Realist Love

Our rating: 8.5/10
Cassio Kohl


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