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Monomaniacs Volume 1

Chris Joss

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Album Review

After his sonic journey through the Indian subcontinent on Sticks, producer and multi-instrumentalist Chris Joss has returned to the hardened, dusty, grime-covered grooves and soundscapes of the '70s with Monomaniacs, Vol. 1. The inspiration here is simple: soundtrack music from kung fu, blaxploitation, vintage porn, and grindhouse soundtracks, early-'70s discotheque dance vamps, and even some tough rockist guitar mania fill all 12 tracks. Given the vibe, it's mandatory that three elements are in the formula: breakbeats galore, rubbery, pumped up basslines, and handclaps. Hints of melodies assert themselves on tracks such as “Optical” via a funky B-3, but it's rhythm that drives this mess. Horn sections and primitive synth sounds glide in and out of the mix, as does some spaced-out reverb, but it’s the breaks and bass vamps that hold court. Indian music does make a brief appearance here in “Kali Flowers,” but the phase-shifted sitar is backed by outrageously funky wah-wah guitar, and cracking breaks. It’s got a tough, middle-four bridge that turns it inside out into a rocking soul riff before the sitar and guitars bring us back to the exotic. You can smell the incense. The cowbell breaks on “Ford Mustang Cutter” fuel a banging bassline, a tripped reverb-laden flute solo, and some outre synth sounds in a tough mix that pushes the vamp into overdrive — naturally. The hard funk in “Mo Lovin,” could be Brother Jack McDuff and his trio with Stevie Wonder on clavinet and the Santana congueros, as it vamps on a theme derived from “Superstition.” Clocking in at under 40 minutes, this is a bangin,’ dancefloor strutting, creatively inspired set that showcases Joss at his nasty best.


Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s

Frenchman/producer/multi-instrumentalist Chris Joss constructs funky downtempo music that's heavily influenced by the film music of Lalo Schifrin, John Barry, and Quincy Jones. Joss made his debut in 1996 with The Man With a Suitcase. Dr. Rhythm appeared in 2002 and was followed two years later by the soulful You've Been Spiked. That same year, You've...
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Monomaniacs Volume 1, Chris Joss
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