You become responsible, forever, for what youve tamed, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry writes in his modern fairy tale The Little Prince, in which his protagonist travels through various worlds in search of friendship and benevolence. The quote is, no doubt, fitting for Niko Schwind, since the Berlin-based DJ and producer consistently demonstrates a deeply anchored love for and close bond to house music, the art form he himself has tamed. As a DJ, he travels the globe, having played in Europe, Australia, Thailand, Brazil, the US and Mexico, and in his sets he creates a feeling of connectedness between himself and others, as well as within the crowd. On Stil vor Talent, Niko Schwind now presents the fruit of his labour in the from of his third album: Grippin World captivates the 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.
Dont Stop Your Love offers an inviting entrance with its full-bodied broken beats and dreamy chords, while the titles lyric repeats itself to form a mantra. With Perfect Fit we are handed an initial highlight, as Heartbeats warm voice and a simple guitar-loop form a flawless musical symbiosis, accentuated by a synthetically creaking bass-line. Niko thus proofs hes more than capable of practicing restrained Minimalism with a pop-impact. Crystal clear claps and a stuttering rhythm then introduce You Cant Stop Me, and provide the backbone for soulful rnb 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; elements, which find meaning by the track titles allusion.
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 wouldnt 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 Magdalenes 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 Eréges wonderful voice, the relaxed groove and sunny synth-stabs of Higher Love offer a contrast light-footed tropical house crafted for the dance floor. Every journey must come to an end however, as taught by The Little Prince. Thus, Fantasia bids us farewell with its nostalgic piano keys and sweet synths. One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye. on Gripping World, Niko Schwind clearly emphasises that music is the emotional extension of the heart.