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.