New music from Los Chicharrons, K-Boy, X-Press 2, and Zohar; DMC/Technics Mixing Championships.
Tummy Touch's Odd Couple
This month (Aug 27 in U.K.) will see the release of "Blow for You/Blow for Me," the second album from Tummy Touch's eccentric funk-samba maestros Los Chicharrons. The album, a heady collection of lazy beats and hedonistic Latin flavors comfortably fits the TT brief for casting aside musical pigeonholes.
The duo -- Ramon Santana and Morten "Toni" Varano -- recently set up its own label, Voodoo Recordings. Santana, originally from the Dominican Republic, relocated to Manhattan and later landed DJ sets at trendy New York venues like Dancetaria, Giant Steps, and the Soul Kitchen. A '90s pilgrimage to London saw him hook up with Tummy Touch label head Tim "Love" Lee. Varano, meanwhile, hails from Copenhagen and achieved a respectable level of pop-stardom in his native Scandinavia with an indie-pop band. After defecting to dance music and penning "Sunny Cha Cha Cha," a track for Tummy Touch under his Sunny Face alias, he met up with like-minded soul Santana.
"Blow For You/Blow For Me" follows the success of the pair's 1999 debut, "Conga Heaven, Bongo Hell."
Joey Negro Producer In Frontline
Already in great demand for his backroom skills, British producer Kevin "K-Boy" Brooks is set to achieve frontline success with partner Mark Knight via the release of K&M's "I Got What You Need" (Nite Life Records) in September.
Brooks, who recently set up two labels -- Access Recordings and Silversonic U.K -- began working as Dave Lee's (aka Joey Negro) engineer in 1996. Subsequently, from his base at London's hugely prolific No Sheep studios, he has worked on dancefloor smashes like "American Dream," "Must Be the Music," and the forthcoming "The Real Life." This year he teamed up with Paul Jackson and Mark Wilkinson (Problem Kids) as Kidstuff and their first track together, "Alright," on Defective's deep house Fluential imprint, has already proved a massive hit in Ibiza this summer, receiving support from Danny Tenaglia and Pete Tong.
K-Boy's "The Sexy EP" (Superbunny), though constructed more than a year ago and released earlier this year, has also begun gathering steam recently and looks like it will be picked up by a major shortly. Look out for his productions under various aliases including K-Konstruction, Mad Jique, and as K&M.
Tenaglia Influences X-Press 2
X-Press 2 follows up its dancefloor flash "Muzikizum" -- with another huge track, "Smoke Machine," due out Oct. 8 via Skint. The incredible smoke machines at Danny Tenaglia's show in downtown Miami apparently inspired the record. Word is dance music dictator Pete Tong will name the track as his Essential New Tune on Friday (Aug. 17).
"Smoke Machine" is also receiving support from Carl Cox, Erick Morillo, Darren Emerson, and Tenaglia himself.
Ali G Keeps It In The Family
Cult comedy hero Ali G (aka Sasha Baron Cohen) is about to be joined in the celebrity arena by his brother Erran Baron Cohen. Erran's band Zohar is causing a stir in world music realms with their brand of downtempo Middle Eastern beats.
Samplers of their first album, "One.Three.Seven" (Zohar Records) -- originally out in 1999 and set for a re-release in October -- are currently highly sought after, as are twelve-inches of the first single, "Ehad."
The 2001 U.K. DMC/Technics Mixing Championships Team Finals are set for Aug. 30 at London's Scala club, where the British champions the Mixologists will defend their title.
The world finals will be held Sept. 22-23, also in London, at the Hammersmith Apollo. Last year's DMC World Team Champions, Craze and A-Trak, who won their crowns at the Millennium Dome, will not compete as a team. Craze will join the U.K.'s Scratch Perverts to compete as an Anglo-American side, while Canadian A-Trak, the youngest ever world champion at 18 in 1997, will be concentrating on school exams.
Craze, himself a triple DMC World Champion, and last year's victor, will not compete in the individual championships. Instead 2000 runner-up Dexta, founder member of Australia's current hottest export the Avalanches, will take up the defense.