When you hear "Hello Stranger" for the first time, you might think that Kaos is a new music group. All the ingredients that shape the sound of a band are here: Live drums, an electric bass, guitars, live percussions and keyboards. And, the voices of real singers.
But you only have to add the prefix "DJ" to the name Kaos to realise what this is: the new album by the Berlin DJ Kaos. The legendary master of the wheels of steel, former member of Terranova and initiator of the infamous Ghost Cauldron project now returns as Kaos with his most mature solo effort to date.
To define "Hello Stranger" as a typical DJ album would be wrong. The beats are groovy but not linear, the tunes are stretched but less tracks than proper songs. For the album, Kaos was looking for new challenges. Because sampling as we know it, is dead. This is especially the case for a producer like Kaos who has been working with sample based music for over a decade and for whom the collaboration with real musicians presented a new, exciting perspective. Kaos engaged various musician friends and singers. Names like Erlend √òye, Daniel Wang, Khan and Snax from Captain Comatose, Matt B. Safer from The Rapture, the performance artist Namosh, Nicole from Electrocute, Boy from Brazil, Eddy Cooper or Jason Friedman from the New York punk rockers The Boggs appear on the album.
For the recordings, the individual collaborators met with Kaos in his studio where they jammed (in the traditional sense) off of Kaos’ own rhythm and harmony structures. The vocals on the album were generated in a similar way: Kaos hummed a melody, language fragments were played around with and after a few tries a real song was born. Afterwards, Kaos arranged everything on his computer.
Musically, "Hello Stranger" has a very versatile sound. However using average genre definitions is problematic. The sound of Kaos is somewhere between disco, New York white funk, Italo and rock. Kaos stated that "the album is a ‘good time album’, one that you can have fun with both at home on the couch, as well as in the club on the dancefloor". "Hello Stranger" is a proper Berlin album. Except for the two New Yorker guest musicians Matt B. Safer and Jason Friedman all the other artists involved call Berlin their home. The album presents an informed illustration of the current developments in today’s most exciting music-capital in the world.
Last but not least, the album elegantly reflects the sound that Kaos has been cultivating for years as a DJ. It is a sound that equally features the sound of yesterday and today, where the golden Glimmer Twins motto "Where The Past Presents The Future" rules. Based on the solid conviction that music is a medium that can independently transcend all chronological and genre related definitions, what counts is simply the good vibe, the good groove and the uniqueness of sound.
All of this can be drawn from "Hello Stranger". It’s DJ Kaos` own "Roots Music " album which propagates "back to music": far away from trends and clich√©s the only thing that counts is good music. The album’s title is based on a song by Marianne Faithfull, which she took from the legendary New Orleans icon Dr. John. Ms. Faithfull’s album was also an attempt to get "Back To The Roots". Kaos has brilliantly mastered the cultivation of this principle on his new album.