Monday, 5 August 2019

Introducing: Chinatown Slalom

In 2019 the standard release strategy for artists seems to be a constant drip feed of singles before collecting them all together, adding in a small handful of new tracks to the mix and releasing it as an album. Yet with so many artists releasing independently now and the internet enabling barriers to be broken there is so much scope for musicians to release in different and original ways. It’s a shame that more don’t experiment with this. 

Chinatown Slalom from Liverpool are tremendously exciting. Their music sounds 100% free of constraints and record label interference; it’s trippy, haphazard, oddball and never rests in complacency. Sometimes it's a mess, but that's OK. Messy is at least interesting. They have also dropped their debut album without the usual two-year long build up and drip feed to generate interest. They’ve just banged it out and word of mouth is building. There's some advice to new artists here; don't play safe.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? is a very DIY record that scrabbles around grabbing as many sounds and samples as it can; genre is obviously a word that Chinatown Slalom haven’t come across. Some reference points that I could throw in are The Avalanches debut, The Beta Band (possibly the most similar comparison), The Beatles, De La Soul, Plastic Mermaids, Jai Paul (who they sample on the album’s title track), Hot Chip, The Beach Boys, The Flying Picketts, Clarence Clarity and Alt-J. Not all of it is perfect - sometimes it feels like a kaleidoscopic collection of ideas that are still moulding themselves into something and they haven't quite got there yet - but it’s this fresh rawness that makes Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? a must listen. 

In terms of live performance there seems to have been very little at the moment, although they’ve thrown some house parties which they titled ‘Everyone’s Invited’ and seemingly annoyed their landlord.  However, what appears to be a more regular gig has been announced at Neighbourhood festival in Manchester on 12th October. Have a listen to the track below but do visit their album to get the full range of what they do.

Chinatown Slalom - Where U At?

Chinatown Slalom - Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

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