Die Vögel’s debut record, Blaue Moschee, was the first EP that DJ Koze signed to Pampa Records, back in the autumn of 2009. Since that first outing, German producers Jakobus Siebels and Mense Reents have etched a near-flawless reputation for their unusual and idiosyncratic approach to dance-music composition (often involving a brass instrument, or two).
However, what they haven’t developed a reputation for is prolificacy; in the four years that the duo have been producing music together they have released only five tracks across two records. As such, the summer arrival of a new Die Vögel EP, their first new material in nearly two years, feels like something of an even in itself.
A-Side The Chicken sees the pair stake fresh territory with a track that is nearly entirely stripped of the brass accompaniments that have long been Die Vögel’s musical signature. Instead of a horn-led house jam, we get nine-minutes of crisp tech-house that builds up to explosive crescendos and makes use of tongue-in-cheek spoken-word samples of cult German director and documentary-maker Werner Herzog talking about, you guessed it, chicken. Yet, it is the track’s intricate sound-design, littered with characteristic subtleties such as the sudden breeze of woodwind instrumentation that emerges in the last third, that makes this is as smart as it is epic.
On the flipside, Mesmerise offers something a little deeper. A beatless opening introduces soothing strings, slow horns and expansive synth-work, gently leading to a cinematic and climatic brass-soaked middle section. The slow BPM gives it a glorious, almost alpine feel, revealing a new softer side to the pair. More suited, perhaps, to home listening than a club context, it is a contrasting yet welcome bedfellow to The Chicken.
|Artist: Die Vögel
Title: The Chicken EP
Label: Pampa Records
Our Rating: 8/10