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Music Review: Parov Stelar – Coco

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We are off to Linz in Austria today to drop in on local musician and DJ Parov Stelar. This is a guy whose previous albums Rough Cuts, Seven And Storm, Shine, and Daylight left those in the know hungry for more. In response he has released an ambitious double set Coco available now on Etage Noir Recordings.

Parov’s music is perhaps best described as an intoxicating mix of elements taken from jazz, swing, electronica, dance, and infectious beat. All of which sits amid melancholic melody one minute and pulsing grooves the next. 

As a result this sprawling, ambitious, and beautifully packaged double album sees an intriguing blend of characteristic freeform jazz, dance, and everything else you would expect from one of his releases.

He has a wonderful ability to blend hints of 30s jazz alongside cutting edge sample rich mixes. This he does with smooth efficiency. Despite its obvious length, Coco achieves a consistency that only musicians with the utmost imagination and creativity could hope to maintain.

For example, after the silky smooth title track, featuring the now familiar Lilja Bloom on vocals, he takes us off into retro jazz land with the gorgeous “Hurt.” With tracks of this caliber Parov Stelar successfully lures even doubters like me into this intriguing web.

This blend of the atmospheric old and the technical new can be likened to an exhibition of fine sepia photographs sitting alongside today’s digital colour.
This rather odd simile is perfectly illustrated during “For Rose” a luscious display of the quality on offer here.

You can choose to lounge back in a comfy chair and immerse yourself into its many twists and turns. Alternatively you can be drawn into the pulse of “True Romance”.

“Distance” opens with gentle piano akin to a chord sequence written for banjo (I know it sounds bizarre!) before opening out into a sample infused piece lifted by the evocative vocal contribution from Lylith.

“Wake Up Sister” confirms my long held belief that the saxophone is the worlds most seductive instrument which, in this case, is gently played by Max The Sax. The pounding drum opening to “Let’s Roll” lifts you from the carefully induced dream sequence and delivers you into club hip-hopland whilst “Sunny Bunny Blues” holds you there.

The second CD includes some familiar offerings to anyone that is in or around the Austrian club scene. There are both the radio and club versions of “The Mojo Radio Gang”, another appearance of Max The Sax on “Silent Snow”, as well as the original version of “Monster.” “Ragtime Cat” provides another one of those curious mixtures of sepia and colour.

It sounds something of a cliché to describe an album as eagerly awaited but this was certainly the case with Coco. Having built quite a reputation across Europe Parov Stelar has delivered a generous set that will satisfy even the most thirsty of his fans.

For more details call in on the world of Parov Stelar at his

website or on his MySpace page.

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About Jeff Perkins

  • Emm

    Oh my gosh, I love Parov Stelar. I have barely stopped listening to him (them?) since I discvoered Shine last year. My favourtie songs on Coco are the last four on CD 2: Monster, Nosferatu, Starlight and The Mojo Radio Gang.

    Nice review!