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Grippin' World


Berlin-based DJ and producer Niko Schwind presents his third album Grippin' World. This album captivates listeners with its versatility and coherence, and kidnaps them to a world of sound, made up of elegantly reduced grooves, organic arrangements and accessible vocal melodies. "Don't Stop Your Love" offers an inviting entrance with its full-bodied broken beats and dreamy chords, while the title's lyric repeats itself to form a mantra. With "Perfect Fit" we are handed an initial highlight, as Heartbeat's warm voice and a simple guitar-loop form a flawless musical symbiosis, accentuated by a synthetically creaking bass-line. Niko thus proves he's more than capable of practicing restrained minimalism with a pop impact. Crystal-clear claps and a stuttering rhythm then introduce "You Can't Stop Me," and provide the backbone for soulful r'n'b vocals, again sung by Heartbeat. Next, "Twenty-Four" surprises as an old-school-leaning hip-hop track -- here, everything revolves around clever sampling, quirky instrumentation and a mildly paranoid lead melody. Niko then ups the tempo on "My Heart Is on Fire," one of two collaborations with the Australian singer Lil' Magdalene. We are treated to classical pumping piano house, which wouldn't have been out of place in early '90s Manchester. Thanks to a healthy dose of the TB-303, "Saturday" initially also nods towards the old school, yet evolves into a grooving deep-house burner. Timeless chords and soulful hooks set the tone, much like on the following track, "Suffering (feat. Sergi)." Things take a turn for the tougher on the title-track "Grippin' World," as a monstrous bass-line wraps itself around Lil' Magdalene's beguiling voice. Niko then presents another slice of hip-hop, which delights with feel-good piano-rolls and a pinch of funk. Next up, "Beautiful Place" is simply hypnotic due to the ominous spoken-word, which rides atop of dub chords and a pressing bass-line towards nirvana. Supported by Serge Erége's wonderful voice, the relaxed groove and sunny synth-stabs of "Higher Love" offer a contrast -- light-footed tropical house crafted for the dancefloor. "Fantasia" bids us farewell with its nostalgic piano keys and sweet synths. On Grippin' World, Niko Schwind clearly emphasizes that music is the emotional extension of the heart.