Rhythm: a regular recurrence of stress. This could be the subtext of C.O.C.O. and their implied mission statement. Olympia’s newest dance minimalists celebrate musical blueprints, foundations, and sonic architecture via drum ‘n’ bass in its’ original, organic, and blissfully booty-shaking form.
C.O.C.O. is a duo comprised of Olivia Ness on bass and vocals, and Chris Sutton (Dub Narcotic Sound System bassist extraordinaire) laying down the drums and additional vocals. Olivia’s voice is soulful yet understated, sultry and steady, a highly melodic component which color her fat ‘n’ funky bass pulses. Chris gets busy on the traps with a highly percussive approach; nailing the beat straight into the floor, he’s prone to sail into polyrhythmic flights of fancy with his entire kit utilized. His vocal interplay, often spoken, cleverly balances the tunes with an excellent subtle contrast. Minimalist in construct and approach, the emphasis lies on the heady grooves being laid down, augmented by sexy soul singing and early hip-hop styled shout-outs. Coming to mind are ESG and The Meters, if they were stripped naked; or perhaps the telepathic rhythms laid by Holger Czukay and Jaki Leibszeit of Can if they were isolated from the rest of the group. Elements of dub soar through the mix, most notably on “Beatdown”, lending some trippy spice to their funk stew. C.O.C.O. definitely have got the chops and they’re taking it to the dancefloor.
In this day of dance clubs dominated by techno, C.O.C.O. could strike a chord in people searching for vintage funk and soul in a modern group for their boogie fix. Their sound is not foreign to indie rockers either. Minimalism is celebrated and rhythm is heralded. Do you remember how to do the caterpillar?
released October 31, 2000
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