Chicken Lips are Andy Meecham (drums), Dean Meredith (bass) and Steve Kotey (dj/engineer), who was recently added to the lineup so they could do live shows. They are from Stoke-on-Trent in the English midlands.
They are not a new band - in the early 1990s they recorded together as Bizarre Inc. - but they are getting a lot of attention today as the idea of disco dub gets more popular. Andy and Dean also record together as Big Two Hundred and ZeeFunkg. Andy records as Sir Drew and Emperor Machine.
This is the 20th DJ Kicks record. The series started in 1995 "to supply mixes designed for home stereo use as well as for the dancefloor." This is Chicken Lips second mix album within a year, following'Body Music,' which they put together for the Nite Life label.
I remember listening to (and liking) the Carl Craig 12inch remix of the Congo's Congo Man on Honest Jon's Records, though I never bought it. Here it is on this disc. On the other hand, everyone has a copy of Nina Hagen's African Reggae in their collection somewhere, and here THAT is on the disc as well.
Stuff I had never heard that I like on this include the Larry Levan remix of Gwen Guthrie's Sly & Robbie -produced disco track Seventh Heaven. Larry Levan is god-like for fans of first wave disco (like me). Also, there's a Matthew Herbert remix of Norwegian vocalist Karin Krog's Meaning of Love, and three Chicken Lips originals, including the first ever Chicken Lips track with vocals.
There is the funk with Jellybean's The Bubble Bunch (written by Jimmy Spicer), Hi-NRG with Sharon Redd's Beat The Street, and Paul Simpson Connection's experimental house track Treat Me.
The record highlights music that inspired Chicken Lips, making it a difficult listen for many people, as Chicken Lips were inspired by various flavors of disco that might be unbearable to you. For me, the disc is a joy. Even the Nina Hagen track was well chosen, though I usually do skip past it.
- Brainticket - Places Of Light
Treated female vocals and lots of organ. the sound reminds me of the early Deep Purple song Hush. I'll bet Julian Cope loves this band.
- Karin Krog / Herbert - Meaning Of Love
Lately Herbert has been using Dani Siciliano as his vocalist. This mix of a Karin Krog (who is the subject of a collection on Crippled Dick Recordings )track is pretty ace though!
- Jimmy Spicer - The Bubble Bunch (original Jellybean 12inch mix)
Possibly the most likeable track for someone who can't stand disco. It has the same type of appeal as Trio Da Da Da.
- Colourbox - Shotgun
- Nina Hagen - African Reggae
Nina Hagen's voice spans several ranges, and includes yodeling. She always has a super solid bass beneath, this track no exception.
- Lindstorm - Limitations
- Lola - Wax The Van (Kenny's club version)
Chicken Lips included this Arthur Russell track before all eyes were on him though his Soul Jazz retrospective. It's a killer track, and fits in on this record perfectly.
- The Congos - Congo Man (Carl Craig mix)
The vocal of t his track has been running though my head the last week.
- Chicken Lips - You're Not Ready Yet
On Chicken Lips tracks, it is all about the beat, and the big fat bass - both of which are here. I enjoy the voice samples too.
- Gwen Guthie - Seventh Heaven (Larry Levan mix)
Wow - This is probably my favorite on the disc, though many folks will hate it, as you can't get much more first wave disco than this. Larry Levan shows his mixing skills too.
- The Paul Simpson Connection - Treat Me
The male vocals and sound are very Detroit sounding.
- Rhythm & Sound - Music A Fe Rule
Only 22 seconds of this track are used before it blends into the next song.
- Tin N Tok - Crisis
2:20 of this track with talked vocals are used before it blends into the next song.
- Warp 9 - Light Years Away
Only a minute of this track are used before it blends into the next song.
- Sharon Reed - Beat The Street
Only 18 seconds of this track are used before it blends into the next song.
- Chicken Lips - Wind Ya Neck In
This is the track that I would play to someone whom I wanted to show this record to. It has a bass part as up front as Jah Wobble in Public Image Ltd. or Betrayal, and is completely likeable to just about anyone.
- Big Two Hundred - Suckee
A track by this Chicken Lips side project, sounding pretty similar to Chicken Lips themselves.
- The Raincoats - Animal Rhapsode
From 1983, a disco instrumental version of one of their tracks. Quite amazing that this is the same Raincoats that you know.
- George Duke - Brazilian Love Affair
Super smooth disco that makes you feel like you are on a vacation. i love this one.
- Wish & La-Rita Gashin - Nice & Soft
Instrumental disco track that has a bass part that sounds slippery. The beat is fast too.
- Chicken Lips - Bad Skin
The vocals are credited to Crazy Girl. Wonder who she is? the first Chicken Lips track with vocals, and also the 12inch single from this collection. the 12inch also has an instrumental version on the flip.
---Carl, February 24, 2004