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Wahoo Take It Personal Review

Album. Released 2007.  

BBC Review

The Berlin duo's latest volume of floor-fillers...

Amar Patel 2007

Berlin is hotter than ever right now: From a perceived art renaissance to the burgeoning property market and the new order of dj/ production outfits such as Ame. Wahoo is the highly talented Berlin production pairing of musician/ singer/ songwriter Georg Levin (who sauntered on to the scene with such charm in 2001 crooning “When I’m With You” preceding his Can’t Hold Back debut album on Sonar Kollektiv) and Innercity Visions DJ/ promoter Steffen ‘Dixon’ Berkhahn.

In fact, Dixon lent his seductive house rhythm to "Somebody New" on that album. Initially conceived as a remix act (of some force if you’ve ever felt their remix of Jazzanova’s “That Night”) the duo found their own sound and soon progressed to making their own tracks, starting with 2004’s worldwide floorfiller “Make 'Em Shake It”, featuring likeable rapper/ vocalist Capitol A and included on this album. It’s on tracks like this and “Damn” that their combination of contemporary beats production, cheeky chunky synths a la Prince and catchy vocals have most impact.

Take It Personal is rather schizophrenic and saccharine in places (like “Wishing”, the unleaded Ramones rock of “Diamond Wedding” and the Felix Basement Jaxx-voiced limp skank of “I’m Your Lover”) but having fun with myriad styles didn’t do The Purple One much harm, did it? Irresistible opener “Don’t Take It Personal” is a slow-burning northern soul floorfiller with Detroit’s Paul Randolph in fine voice and “Sun In My Candlelight” demonstrates Levin’s effortless songwriting.

Wahoo is Levin and Dixon’s vent for making music with emotional impact (notice how they bookend the album with ‘life messages’) while refusing to take themselves too seriously; they’re unashamedly ‘pop’. Their debut album is modern music for soul folk with thousands of different songs on their iPod, shuffle button at the ready. Definitely make room for a few Wahoo tracks on there and keep an eye out for the duo in future.

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