For my first listen to knock knock I did something very daft. I walked through the park while it poured. It was utterly miserable, cold and dreary and unseasonably dark. It soaked me in foul mood, and I couldn’t enjoy anything I was hearing beyond an erratic headbob. Although I listened to it often since, I didn’t truly get it until the Saturday the UK realised it was spring a few weeks ago. Under unwaveringly blue skies and submerged in shorts-season temperatures isn’t just the appropriate context for this record, it’s an essential accessory.

knock knock is luminous. It glistens and gleams and sparkles, delicate and overwhelmingly delightful, all sun-kissed synths and eternally echoing vocals and ballerina-dainty percussion. Speaking to FACT, DJ Koze (real name Stefan Kozalla) explained that he wanted the record to feel “timeless[…] avoiding things and sounds.” In its deliberate circumvention of politics and genre trends, the record doesn’t really have a tangible connection to the contemporary, or even any grounding in reality. It’s impeccably singular, rows of bottled-up happiness with their caps half-twisted off. Parading this fervid idealism is the tattoo of the perfect Summer album.

This rootlessness is ironically where Koze seems to feel most at home – his itinerant DJ Kicks and remix compilation Reincarnations probed hip hop, soul, disco, techno, anything with a groove, and probed without ulterior motive – and, following (Koze’s preceding album from 2013) Amygdala’s deconstructionist digression, knock knock signifies a prodigal son’s return to such laissez-faire roaming between aesthetics.

If there’s a musical register that negotiates the sunlit and the uncanny, Koze channels it. Kurt Wagner’s distorted vocals on ‘Muddy Funster’ rally a horn-inflected R&B jam. ‘Colors of Autumn’ evokes the better of Bruno Mars’s funk-lite. The record’s penultimate cut ‘Seeing Aliens’ soothes as melodic electro, an Apparat-adjacent composition that underlines for the billionth, brilliant occasion the welcoming harmony between sadness and beauty. ‘Planet Hase’ and ‘Bonfire’ resemble solid techno templates, but are supplemented by invigorating soul-imitating beats. ‘Pick Up’, the record’s latest single, is a ready-made Summer banger and virtually inarguably the record’s high-point. Fluorescent disco vocals are engorged by jilted guitar licks and textured bongos, pre-determined to soundtrack your sultriest sunsets. Koze’s eclecticism is thrilling in junctures, radiant with wholesome gurning.

But by evading earthy physicality and skirting cynicism, knock knock’s imagination can, infrequently, feel lightweight. Though Roisin Murphy’s first feature ‘Illumination’ is breezy fun, her second ‘Scratch That’ is pretty derivative. The same goes for ‘Baby’ and José González number ‘Music On My Teeth’, while others contribute some interesting ideas but are let down by banal foundations; ‘Lord Knows’ deploys a captivating syncopated vocal at its centre but the production supporting it is anodyne. At fifteen tracks without a coherent through-line there was always a risk of bloating, and, though it doesn’t aggressively infringe the experience, it is noticeable.

Furthermore, because knock knock eludes an intelligible arc, it can’t disrupt convention like Amygdala. In the guitar-speckled ‘Marilyn Unwind’ and the Motown-sampling transgression ‘Ich schrieb’ dir ein Buch 2013’, exemplifying that record, Koze didn’t so much blend techno with other sounds as genetically splice them. knock knock is otherwise composed of grinning, straightforward, individualistic pastiches, sounding closer to Reincarnations than Amygdala, more compilation than album. This is a frivolous criticism though, as knock knock’s levity is a decidedly stylistic choice rather than an artistic failing. If over time it is evaluated as a “singles record,” it’s worth clarifying that it’s a damn good one.

Favouring whirligig aimlessness, knock knock doesn’t repurpose electronic music like Amygdala; but in avoiding “things and sounds,” it never has aspirations otherwise. Pleasure both innocent and decadent is its prerogative. Among stormclouds of empty scepticism and emptier platitudes of contrived solidarity, knock knock is a valuably earnest ray of sunshine.