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  Koop Waltz for Koop
by Sterling McGarvey

KoopThere are some funky cats representing Sweden. That having been said, Koop’s latest CD, Waltz for Koop, is remarkably thorough in spite of its 35-minute runtime. The Stockholm duo of Magnus Zingmark and Oscar Simonsson make some savage music together (not to mention that their hyper-masculine choices in album cover garb are certainly attention grabbing). As both their sophomore effort (the first album was released only in Sweden) and their debut on Jazzanova-Compost Records, Waltz for Koop is one to keep on rotation alongside your other trusty chill-out selections, from Thievery Corporation to Kruder & Dorfmeister.

The title track opens up the disc like a beautiful day. Utilizing the soft vocals of Cecilia Stalin, the strings on "Waltz for Koop" give it a cinematic feel reminiscent of a warm instrumental score. "Tonight" glides along with majestic keys and melancholy lyrics before it bleeds quietly into "Baby," which feels like a graceful continuation of "Waltz for Koop."

However, the most powerful track on the album comes with "Summer Sun." Boasting the potent voice of Yukimi Nagano, it is the track on the album. "Summer Sun" exudes a sort of rich warmth that one can play the track on a cold February morning and still feel like stripping down to a tank top and shorts. You’ll tap your feet, you’ll smile, and you’ll play it again. And again. And again. Acoustic crack at its finest, ladies and gentlemen.

Koop "Soul for Sahib" is an upbeat scorcher that brings to mind the stylings of Yoko Kanno's Jazz-laden score for Cowboy Bebop. Spike Spiegel would beat up a 6-million Rulon bounty with it playing in the background. "Modal Mile," featuring Earl Zinger, brings to mind the swinging sounds of the 60s. With the mildly Hip-Hop-influenced undertones of "In a Heartbeat," the album begins to take a slight turn toward the electronic. "Relaxin' at Club F****n" would sound appropriate to close a Deep House set. Finally, the album closes out with "Bright Nights," featuring Yukimi Nagano. Nagano wraps her warm voice around a shuffling track that winds out the album very nicely.

At 35 minutes, the album is sparse on runtime, but rich with quality production. The Jazzanova name means quality. Koop's first album for the label certainly lives up to that level of excellence.

Related links

At Amazon.com

Waltz for Koop from Amazon.com Waltz for Koop
Written and produced by Koop

Track Listing:

  1. Waltz for Koop
  2. Tonight
  3. Baby
  4. Summer Sun
  5. Soul for Sahib
  6. Modal Mile
  7. In A Heartbeat
  8. Relaxin' At Club F****n
  9. Bright Nights

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