Chris Coco’s weekly radio broadcast. An eclectic selection of brilliant new music starting with house and moving on to electronica, downtempo, acoustic and all sorts of other styles loosely connected to dance and electronic music. Let tastemaker Chris Coco guide you through his selection of the week’s best new music. This episode we’re mostly on a wooden pirate boat with a Function One soundsystem, bobbing and rocking to Chris Coco and True Jazz Child in the mix. That’s right, it’s the now legendary Mixcloud / Melodica boat party at the Stop Making Sense Festival in Croatia. [setlist] 1 Odyssey – Native New Yorker (Ashley Beedle Mix) – Ism 2 Miguel Migs feat Evelyn Champagne King – Everybody – Om CHRIS COCO MIX ON MIXCLOUD / MELODICA BOAT PARTY AT STOP MAKING SENSE FESTIVAL, CROATIA TRUE JAZZ CHILD MIX ON MIXCLOUD / MELODICA BOAT PARTY AT STOP MAKING SENSE FESTIVAL, CROATIA
I am on a terrace, drinking coffee with milk, feeling a little frayed at the edges, looking out at the beautiful bay at Petrcane, the one which Hitchcock said has the best sunsets in the world, you remember. Swifts dart and skim above the sunshades and return to their perch on the wire, free as a Leonard Cohen lyric in the balmy summer air and the picture perfect light blue light. We’re piecing together images, making sense of the Stop Making Sense night before. This is a place that I have somehow fallen in love with, whatever that means now. There is something about the light here, Hitch got that right. The flow of islands on the horizon, the splash and sparkle of sun on sea. It’s so cinematic, like the slowest European art movie you have ever seen. And it’s just there, every day you wander down for coffee, like a blossoming art student, casually relaxed with her own beauty. We were flown here for last night, now, for a change, we have two days to recover, to do nothing, to watch the film and see how it unfolds. Last night involved the Mixcloud / Melodica boat party. At 6.60 we sat drinking Pan beer as the pirates rounded the point and powered into the bay, like something from the story scene in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, old wooden boat, Function One sound on the shaded deck. They docked at the quay and took on supplies (mostly Pan beer) and boarders, a motley crew of party people and early arrivals for the festival proper. At 7 we set off on our musical journey, through True Jazz Child, Nikhil and Coco; through sunset and inky dusk into shimmering moonlit night. And it felt somehow theatrical, treading the boards, the build, the slow unfolding, the journey down the coast to Zadar, round the bay and back; the journey from jazzy house through modern London versions of electronic dance to party tunes. From the first tentative sips and polite hellos to the full throated scream. We are your friends. You’ll never be alone again. Come on. Come on. From a gentle sway in the bay on the way out to the frothy chop and rock on the way back. Dancing a DJing on a boat at sea is an acquired skill, but the added movement does create that mythical feeling of togetherness in the dancefloor or deck boards and leads to some, shall we say, interesting, if not always pre-planned dance moves. Back on shore, the was the incident with Nikhil, his friend and the sea, which involved N and said friend taking a tumble into the salty bay, along with his i-Phone and laptop. Luckily not too much damage was done to the computer. We wish the i-Phone a speedy recovery. And finally, a short but satisfying set in Barbarella’s Nightclub, all 70s kitsch and circular motion, like the inside of a perfect shell or a human ear, swirling in from entrance to DJ booth; bumping bass through more F1 sound, disco and house sounding like they always have, sounding like they never have done before. And that was that, beautifully simple really. Now, let’s have another coffee and watch the boats come in.
This week’s episode comes live from a portakabin at the Big Chill Festival in the Malvern Hills in the west of England. So there are a few Sunday afternoon Big Chill classics plus an interview with Yam Who and some random festival revellers plus a rare live appearance from the Strings, Wood and a Box of Air boy. [setlist] 1 Alex Q – Jule – Musik Gewinnt 2 August Darnell – Friendly Children (Todd Terje Edit) – Digital File 3 J Kriv – Another Night (Dicky Trisco Dub) – Deep & Disco Recordings THAT FUZZY FEELING (TUNE OF THE WEEK) 4 Odyssey – Native New Yorker (Asley Beedle Mix) – Ism 5 78 Edits – Come On Baby – Giant Cuts 6 Seu Jorge – Everybody Loves The Sunshine – Now Again Records STRINGS, WOOD AND A BOX OF AIR 7 Adem – God Only Knows – Cool D:Vision 8 Crackpot – Robopotamus – Crackpot Music 9 Changed – Straighten Out – White Label 10 Kwanzaa Posse – Wicked Funk – Flying
Hairdryer out on a day trip to the Big Chill, me and the boy, precious cargo, hats on, heads down. We arrive and indulge in the traditional festival beginnings, me a Grande Bouffe sausage and potatoes, he a pancake with sugar and lemon, with Steel Pulse live as background music. Thinking, so much has changed since the Handsworth Revolution. There are two sets and a lot of wandering and observing to be done, but after the downpour the sun is shining, whether this is anything to do with the imminent arrival of Norman Jay only he and god really know. But he comes, he plays, the sun stays out, and it is, as they say in the good book, um, good. The radio is next, the traditional portakabin with a view of Cube Henge, Babylon and a kebab stall. The boy makes an appearance with a live version of his cult Strings, Wood and a Box of Air jingle, other son turns up and talks about orbs, we play an exclusive new version of Odyssey’s Native New Yorker and generally feel on top of the world and having some good times that will be shared next week with the Melodica audience. Then it’s out again to witness a little Warpaint, a great band that inevitably have to be compared to The Slits if you want 80s references, a great band that are really enough of their own thing to be, already, beyond, lazy comparisons. The festival feels a little disconnected and not quite busy enough, maybe it’s us, maybe it’s because it’s Sunday. It feels like a series of festivals that don’t quite fit together. At one end there’s the kids and parents bit, separated from the rest by a stringent, no kid wristband, no entry policy which we find a little Daily Mail paranoid and sinister; then there’s the Enchanted Garden, like the hippy remnants of the original festival; the main arena, a mish-mash of styles depending on who’s on stage; and finally the teenage area, a series of tents and sponsored arenas with DJs and electronic music artistes. We wander and talk about focus and unfocusing our eyes, then walk into a cloudy tent, like looking inside our heads and float through booming bass and drifting synth and some style of beat poetry into the future past. We think about taking a fairground ride and quickly decide it feels better on the ground. We dance / march with the tuba and trombone and let the music take us where it will. We drink indie coffee and decide that too much milk is worse than too much caffeine. Then it’s time for my DJ set, straight after Mr Scruff. It takes a while to find my feet, but eventually I do with some of that good old/new, old school new school acid house music. Like it’s then, but now. Plus a couple of classics. Well, it is a festival after all. Finally it’s foot down, hairdryer back to London city. What a blast.
Check out R.FM for iPhone and listen to Chris Coco’s Melodica sessions here.