Once (12” EP)
South Korean-born, Berlin-based DJ and producer Peggy Gou is making (sound) waves within house music and electro – those faceless, anonymous beat-filled genres where the best music can seem so fleeting but the truly timeless tunes have that something special: the right hook and groove; personality.
So on this 12” vinyl EP Gou kicks off with the somewhat ironically titled It Makes You Forget, this memorable dance-floor hook is a good, good time. I’m reminded of that feelgood, insatiable vibe of Sidewinder’s Stanways Revenge or The Ananda Project’s Cascades of Colour, those classic late nineties/early noughts drum-machine fueled pop party grooves that just flow and pulse.
The real hook here though is Gou’s vocal – moving from mumble-singing to a type of spoken-rap, and all in Korean; she’s like Slick Rick and Grace Jones rolled into one, and you all but lean in to try to hear more, to decipher, your heart racing, your feet moving, your head a flurry of bees.
There are no vocals on the next cut, Hundres Times, just a harder club groove, throwbacks here to the sort of rhythms Tosca and Smith & Mighty used to push but with a more modern thrust. It’s a bouncing, energetic track that oozes perpetual happiness, somehow Gou finds just the right balance between riding the repetitive nature of house music for all its worth and imbuing fresh personality.
The retro celebration is most obvious on the closing Han Jan, vintage 808s and little splashes of sound-colour around the groove that recall straight away the Kraftwerk cuts that had the biggest impact on Afrika Bambaataa as Gou works a fairly straight but deep electro rhythm and raps a simple chorus “You gotta do it right/Enjoy your life/You gotta do it right” to delirious effect – whether for the boiler-room, the bedroom, the car, the gym or in the background as you work or dine this has a great living-soundtrack vibe.
Smart and danceable, totally – utterly – dig-able, Gou remains one to watch and absolutely one to listen to.
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