Chicago's Chandeliers make gooey good electro-funk-pop that has just the right amount of chunky synths, half-broken sounding drum machines, echo-y vocals, and tunes that stick right in the part of your brain that wishes Prince was making music inspired by Animal Collective these days. Their album Founding Fathers came out a little bit ago on Captcha Records and I've been spinning it every few days because it sounds just right for this incredibly hazy summer. (Check it out here!) In this week's edition of the Poplist, the band's Chris Kalis lays down the facts on some of the artists the band looks to for inspiration.
First, a cut from the album....
Early Aphex Twin, especially the song "Alberto Balsam," basically made us leave our guitars in the closet for about 3 years. Warp Records was like the holy grail in the late 1990s. We were just getting into buying records and going to raves, and there were so many futuristic sounds from Aphex, Auetchre, B12, Black Dog Productions, and many more. Richard D. James is a mysterious prankster who makes us look at music differently - and still keeps us interested after 20 years. You can really sense that it's a labor of love and he continually inspires us to be "good music makers".
Count Bass D
Dwight Conroy Farrell (aka Count Bass D) has visited us in Chicago a number of times. We were delighted to have him in the studio playing almost every single instrument he could find. He was also kind enough to share some of his secret methods, like the sacred 12-chop on the MPC-1000! Dwight is one of the best beat-makers around; a truly dedicated musician and emcee, and a true peace bro.
Count Bass D - "Don't Stop"
We discovered Wally Badarou through Lizzy Mercier Descloux's masterpiece "Mambo Nassau" & he's humbly sprinkled his magic sonic dust on everyone from Grace Jones to Level 42. One day, there will be a dope 2xLP set from Soul Jazz Records and everyone will be freaking out. This guy is a chameleon, lending his imagination & colors to a wide, wide variety of artists - & naturally, thankfully reserving some very special steps for his own solo slices. We're addicted to anything he's touched.
Afrika Bambaataa - "Looking for the Perfect Beat"
We have to recognize the King of Electro-Funk. Everything about this dude is inspiring from his beats to his video to his futuristic clothing and his sense of humor. We are lucky that Afrika Bambaataa did what he did in the 1980's so that bands like us could even have the chance to exist....he is truly a founding father.
Primus - Pork Soda
We heard this one when we were little scamps:"DMV", "Mr. Krinkle", "Hamburger Train" - It feels so good! The inspiring sound of Primus (in the mid-90s) is enough to humble any musician. They also helped introduce us to stuff like the Residents, early Peter Gabriel, and XTC. The standout track for us is "Wounded Knee", if they did a whole record like this, it would sound like a long lost ECM record.