Disconnected Podcast 004: Chris Coco

chris coco

After a busy summer packed full of gigs, festival appearances and even an exclusive wedding gig Chris Coco is showing no signs of putting his feet up just yet. Chris took some time out from his busy schedule to record us a mix and sit down for an interview so we could find out what the Melodica man has got planned over the next few months.

Hi Chris, thanks for sitting down with us for a chat, now I know you’ve been doing this for years, but for some of the young’uns that follow disconnected, could you tell us a bit about yourself, what your background in music is?

Music, music, music. I used to edit DJ magazine, then did the Blue Room on Radio One, all the time making music for labels including Warp and Distinctive and DJing all over the world. In the last few years I have been more associated with chillout and electronica, though when I play out it’s still house music that is the basis of my sets.

Can you tell us a bit about your work on Radio One?

Yes, I worked for them for four years doing the Blue Room, late night or early morning music, depending on which way round you look at it. It was a wonderful thing, playing really out there stuff to the nation. I think in the end we were just a little too out there for the people who run the station to get it. Playing Mogwai at ten to seven in the morning when people are just waking up didn’t go down too well in the end.

Big thanks for all the Melodica shows, we love ‘em, what’s the thinking behind the show, I mean, is there a philosophy which guides it?

Yes, Melodica is my new venture, well it’s just over a year old so it’s still a baby really, but I hope it carries on the slightly anarchic spirit of the Blue Room. Really the show’s all about the love, sharing music that I love with my people and trying to get across the excitement of discovering all this new stuff every week. I love to do it. It’s what I do. I’m listening to stuff for next week’s show now, working out what to say about it, wondering what the regulars will think of the tunes. It’s a lovely community feeling.

You can keep up to date with the Melodica shows here.

Your album, Feel Free Live Good, came out on Big Chill recently, what can we expect to find on there?

Feel Free Live good is electronic music, a mixture of house, downtempo, electronica, quite eclectic, a couple of proper summer tunes like Summertime and My Beach House and a few weird ones. It’s a good listen though.

How’s the feedback been?

Feedback has been good. It’s still going too, I’ve just put out the video for 8808, a sort of spacey tribute to acid house. Anthony Burrill, superstar graphic artist made it with a new guy called Jack Featherstone, it’s simple slow moving images that slowly go kaleidoscopic.

You are the only person we know who has performed from the top of a tree house! Can you explain what that was all about?

That was at Bestival this year, there was a new venue called the Wishing Tree. When I played people had to queue for an hour to get in, it only held 40 people at a time. Inside there was a mini bar run by two midgets, who were really lovely and friendly. There were also some witches passing round a sacred limbo cabbage. All very strange.

I have also played from an ice cream van but that’s another story…

Wow, all sounds fun, I guess that’s a little insight into Rob de Bank’s mindset then…

I think that tree captured the original anarchic, surreal spirit of Bestival, yes. The ice cream van DJing was at a friends party, serving up tunes from in there was a little tricky because when you stand up straight you can’t see out of the window.

Most of the stuff we are reviewing at the minute crosses musical boundaries left right and centre, we absolutely love the way genres seem to be getting busted all over the place, why do you think this is happening at the moment?

It’s because everybody can listen to everything all the time. If you have an idea pop into your head you can find it on Youtube. Yesterday I felt like listening to some old punk rock from Ramones and Buzzcocks, I had some idea it would cure my hangover, so I just found the tunes. It didn’t cure the hangover but you get my point. There’s no need for the listener or the artist to be stuck in a genre or a subgroup, you can just jump all over the place. Actually the problem when you are making computer music is setting boundaries so all your tunes don’t sound completely different from each other.

Chris Coco – Summertime (Mighty Mouse Remix) by Chris Coco

Have you got any tips for 2011?

Musically, it’s so wide open at the moment it’s really exciting. Um, label wise Planet Mu are on fire at the moment; new disco from Australia; post-dubstep bass music colliding with house and electro; Girl Unit, Nicolas Jaar, Kyle Hall, Soul Clap; festivals in the east of Europe.

What’s next for you?

I’m working on a new album at the moment, it’s called Freedom Street, it’s hopefully going to be a bit more dirty and urban than the last one, about the joys of living in a big city like London, finding beauty in the streets and getting to be who you wanted to be when you were growing up.

Any cool gigs coming up so we can catch you playing again?

I’m concentrating on making a new album for a couple of months but I will be doing a few interesting things like a monthly event called Disappearing Dining Club. It’s a pop up dinner dance with amazing food followed by a party. I’m sort of resident DJ, playing from desert onwards.

We are thinking about festivals for next year, where do you think will be big this summer?

It’s all about Croatia, the Stop Making Sense festival was a particular favourite of mine from last summer, it’s a boutique affair in a small fishing village called Petracane. There’s a 70s style Italian disco for the night and a dance floor suspended above the waves for the daytime. You can dance into the sunset, it’s totally gorgeous.

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