On the heels of two volumes of the “Groove Sessions” compilations, the time had come for the three warriors of Zen mind to set their course by the sun and create a real first album of Hip Hop, Dub, Electro and other sounds if compatible… “Racing with the Sun” was conceived as the soundtrack to an imaginary film, a strange Western taking place in a ghostly Wild West populated by mysterious characters who meet in different pieces.
For that the trio scoured the black wax racks to extract the best samples, and explore other musical horizons and new ambiances: Chinese Reggae (“Miss Chang”), Gospel doped with UK Dub (“Racing with the Sun”), old school Hip Hop mixed with traditional music (“Stand!”)… the trio blends its familiar stamping grounds with terra incognita.
A year spent unravelling folk, mixing breaks, playing keyboards, juxtaposing, splitting, welding, creating alloys, melting down the failures…
A year chasing the dragon to the sound of Ella Jenkins’s voice and of acoustic snake charming: trombones, organs, guitars, gamelan, contrabasses and percussions, all summoned to give birth to sounds as yet unexplored by the trio.
A multitude of new plans and new partners to cut grooves with. It was a long schlep to reach the cohort of disciples dispersed to the four corners of the Earth who collaborated in the making of this record.
The Plex Rock, Lush One and Ex-I crew, fine blades from the Bay Area battle scene were invited to cross swords to the sound of banjos on “Get up” for a zany redneck Hip Hop anthem. The Indonesians from Dubyouth and the Hip Hop Jogja Foundation were invited to play on “J.O.G.J.A” for a wild excursion where English and Javanese merge over an old school break beat picked out with incisive percussion. General Elektriks contributes his vintage keys to “Ta Bom”, a melancholy ballad redolent of 1990’s Brazil and Hip Hop. On “Miss Chang”, Cyph4 and TaÃ¯wan Mc imbibe sweet swirls of 50’s Chinese music to mix their flows between Hip Hop and Ragga with the voice of a mysterious lady singer from another age. Lastly our compatriots from the Scratch Bandits Crew deliver their unstoppable technique on “Down” with sharp scratches and hypnotic beat juggling.
To finalise the project and mix all this talent down, the group called in the producer Sodi (director of Fela and Femi Kuti) to bring all his know-how to bear on this album and give a new dimension to the sound of the CHINESE MAN…
Chinese Man travelling in the desert? He leaves a jungle in his wake!