CHRIS COCO: Freedom Street (Melodica)


Chris Coco is a London-based producer, DJ, musician, broadcaster, and journalist. A self-styled “multifunctional renaissance man”, ‘Freedom Street’ is his second full album and the first on his own Melodica label – which shares its name with his Ibiza-based radio show that’s currently franchised to places as diverse as Chicago and Istanbul. The 9 tracker is Coco’s paean to the South London districts that he now calls home and using a variety of musicians and vocalists he’s tried to conjure up the atmosphere of a laid back, lazy London summer.

The set kicks off with the light Caribbean flavours of ‘Word’. It’s almost a dub and features Scottish singer Andrew Docherty and a full horn section… summery it sure is, setting the tone for what is essentially a collection of Balearic chill. ‘Down to The Sea’, ‘St James Grove’, ‘My Desire’, ‘Elton Dub’, ‘End Of The World’ and ‘Love You So’ could all have featured on those classic Café Del Mar compilations. All and any of them might help you through any existential crisis.

Different again is ‘Holliday’. It’s ethereal, yes, but it has a folksy feel – aided and abetted by the input Scottish singer Samantha Wates. Catchiest cut on offer is ‘Letter From Erika’ featuring vocalist Dan Rowe. Here’s what Chris had to say about it: “This is a letter in the form of a song from a friend of ours who lives in Berlin. It’s about freedom and love and fighting for a better future. The names have been changed, Erika is actually the brand of typewriter she used to write the letter. You can hear the sound of it in the finished mix.” Maybe that makes it sound heavier than it actually is. In reality the cut is a catchy pop confection – just right for Radio 2’s daytime playlist. Like the rest of the collection it has a lovely summer vibe to it…all we need now is that summer.

(BB) 3/5