There is no doubt: 2003 is the year in which tracks by London’s Chicken Lips are ubiquituos in every serious DJ’s box. Whether its their own tracks or their various remixes for Playgroup, Headman, Underworld, or Stereo MCs, Chicken Lips is the “in sound” of the new decade. Perfect for the new issue of the legendary DJ Kicks series from !K7 Records.
The sound of Chicken Lips is known as „disco dub“ and it derives from a mix of disco, boogie, 80s synthesizer music, and tricks from the dub chamber. A groove-inflected, instrumental sound that feels like it´s been handmade. There is a rock n´roll influence as well, with big drums, huge echo sounds, banging bass guitars and small melody fragments. A sound that moves straight forward, yet is marked by a special groove and a very unique feeling. This sound is a London thing, and Chicken Lips come from a place that has cultivated this sound for a while. Producers and DJs like Ray Mang, Idjut Boys, Tim “Love” Lee, and others produced disco dub out of clumsily looped disco and boogie samples. It emerged an always humorous alternative to the dictatorship of the 4/4 groove. It has demonstrated that retro disco groove, when newly arranged, can sound as contemporary as sample based house and techno tracks of today.
Many of the producers that have influenced Chicken Lips in their characteristic sound are featured on their “DJ Kicks” mix. There´s Brainticket, Colourbox, Nina Hagen, Sharon Redd, Jellybean, and Larry Levan…their names and their music symbolising timeless dance music. This is music from the late 1970s and early 1980s, that even today sounds so individualistic and fresh. In their “DJ Kicks” mix, Chicken Lips also mix this timeless sound with various musical individualists from today. You´ll hear Karin Krog & Herbert with “Meaning Of Love” mixed with a Jellybean remix of Jimmy Spacer, the Carl Craig Remix of “Congo Man” by the Congos blended with a track by Chicken Lips themselves.
Chicken Lips are Andy Meecham, Dean Meredith and Steve „Fella“ Kotey. “Lips” founder members Andy & Dean started in 1999, when they released their first album “Echo Man” on the London based label Kingsize. At first an underground success and very popular amongst DJs, an extensive DJ tour followed for Meecham and Meredith in countries such as Italy, Germany, France, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland and the USA. In between, they worked on numerous remixes. Their booking schedule consequently expanded to such an extent that they decided to engage DJ Steve “Fella” Kotey as their third member. Today, Fella plays the majority of the Chicken Lips’ international gigs, while Dean Meredith spins in the UK and Andy Meecham takes care of the Chicken Lips studio and continues working on new material.
For Andy Meecham and Dean Meredith, Chicken Lips is their second musical career. In the early nineties, Merdeith and Meecham released under the moniker Bizarre Inc, first on the London based label Vinyl Solution and then on Mercury Records. Three singles made it into the UK top ten, their biggest hit then “Playing With Knives” – a tune that clubbing and DJ pioneers surely will remember.
Next spring, Chicken Lips will release their third studio album, and for the first time they are looking to work with vocalists. Before that, check out the “Lips” on their “DJ Kicks” tour that will lead them around the globe and to your city. You can bet a dub delay that their DJ set live is as eclectic as their “DJ Kicks” mix.
1. Brainticket – Places of Light
2. Karin Krog / Herbert – Meaning of Love
3. Jimmy Spicer – The Bubble Bunch (Original Jellybean 12” Mix)
4. Colourbox – Shotgun
5. Nina Hagen – African Reggae
6. Lindstrom – Limitations
7. Lola – Wax the Van (Kenny’s Club Version)
8. The Congos – Congo Man (Carl Craig Mix)
9. Chicken Lips – You’re Not Ready Yet
10. Gwen Guthrie – Seventh Heaven (Larry Levan Mix)
11. The Paul Simpson Connection – Treat Me (Dubmental Mix – A Pablovia RaBaN Mix)
12. Rhythm & Sound w/Paul St. Hilaire – Music A Fe Rule
13. TIK N TOK – Crisis
14. Warp 9 – Light Years Away (Dub)
15. Sharon Redd – Beat The Street (Instrumental)
16. Chicken Lips – Wind Ya Neck In
17. Big Two Hundred – Suckee
18. The Raincoats – Animal Rhapsody (Dennis Bovell Mix)
19. George Duke – Brazilian Love Affair
20. Wish & La-Rita Gaskin – Nice and Soft
21. Chicken Lips – Bad Skin (DJ Kicks)