Already well-respected for moving dancefloors with their warm funk-infused brand of house music, Suol label headsChopstick & Johnjon broaden the sound palette with their debut album ‘Twelve’, delivering a superbly crafted work that favours song over track and features vocalist Chris James from Ninja Tune signed band Stateless.
Good things take time. For listeners out there who still need convincing, quality time with Chopstick & Johnjon‘s debut album, ‘TWELVE’ is in order. That‘s right. An entire album! Despite being busy these last few years tackling market demands with EPs and remixes, they‘ve finally managed to put out a full-length opus.
And what an album it is! This is an album that lets the ever-changing winds of house music blow right on by, and, through what felt like years in the making, has developed a vibrant tonal language that will continue to tell new stories after stories for years to come. During the final Berlin studio sessions last winter, and it was the only way to get through winter, these arrangements fanned the embers of our “suols” into a healthy glow, helping us survive the cold and grey outside. It‘s an album that focuses on song over track, skillfully pleasing listeners without simply fixating on maximum floor effect.
Besides its ample fruition time, the album‘s second most important ingredient is the voice of Chris James, a London-based singer and musician, who often releases music with his band Stateless on !K7 and Ninja Tune. Rumour has it that a list of preferred candidates for vocal features circulated through the studio when recording began. That list was quickly crumpled up and thrown into the studio‘s trash bin the second James‘ soothing vocals took flight.
Ultimately, the studio recording session proved so intuitive and natural that James‘s heart-warming vocal lines and harmonies are featured on eleven of the twelve album tracks.