It’s been two years since Cologne’s very own house virtuoso, Damiano von Erckert, declared himself to the world with his first solo outing through his widely revered ava. imprint. 2013’s ‘Love Based Music’ saw a shift in the pattern of sound so heavily influenced by the quirky techno and pop undertones of the city’s most famous export, Kompakt. von Erckert has always strived to build himself a solid foundation on his doorstep that harks back to the sultry, affable sounds of the origins of house and disco, which is certainly reflected in his musical output.
On first listen ‘Also Known As Good’ didn’t really stand out as the most impressive long player in the history of modern dance music. But how can one completely write off an album just on first appearance alone? It was on the second listen that this splendid little LP really came into its own. With a genre such as house music, oversaturated with ‘wishy washy’ pads and ten a penny sample packs that are forever sounding far too overproduced, it became apparent that von Erckert had provided some much needed sunshine in an otherwise overcast, mundane playing field.
With this most recent excursion, Damiano indulges you throughout with a breezy workout of luscious keys, dusty off-kilter percussion and a hearty dash of soul. There is a definite maturity in von Erckert’s sound since his last full outing. This LP clocks in just short of 45 minutes yet he manages to display a whole host of sweetened soul licks wrapped around delectably hypnotic melodies. The delightful swing of ‘We flow’ accompanied by the dulcet tones of Amalia emphasise the playful nature in which von Erckert has approached this record as a whole. Alongside some other Cologne based beatsmiths who have worked with him previously, such as Hodini and Tito Wun (see ‘Mr Pink, What Have You Been Smokin’? for serious vibes), there are numerous throwbacks to the golden era of 70s and 80s disco dotted throughout carefully and concisely with the flirtatious bounce of ‘Jai Alai’ or the sun-drenched sensual ambience of ‘New Ehrenfeld Swing’ (this really hit the spot) providing a real high note on an already tip-top follow up.
For the more discerning listener this might not sound like groundbreaking material but it certainly makes for a thoroughly enjoyable aural adventure. Yes it sounds like something the more recognisable pioneers of modern house music, such as MCDE or Pepé Bradock, have already touched on numerous occasions but that doesn’t mean to say it is no more enjoyable to listen to, Pina Colada in hand.