TASTEMAKER, DJ, broadcaster, producer, music curator, musician and journalist Chris Coco has been working as a DJ since the acid house explosion of the late 1980s. He’s released artiste albums for Warp and Distinctive Records, compilation albums for Playboy, Ministry of Sound, EMI Classical and Trojan Records, and his music has also appeared on Café Del Mar and Hotel Costes compilations.
His latest compilation will be the long-awaited Sunset Hours Vol 2, the follow-up to Malaysian restaurant, bar and lounge Marini’s on 57’s chill-out house compilation Sunset Hours compiled by legendary Spanish producer Jose Padilla year ago.
Coco has been in the scene for almost three decades now but there is no sopping his search for new sounds and new inspiration.
“I have always had a deep love for music but the world of electronic and dance music really opened up for me with the acid house explosion in the late 1980s,” Coco said of his early days in the scene in an email interview ahead of his upcoming Kuala Lumpur visit to launch the album.
“It felt like there was a massive cultural shift happening here in the UK through this music. Of course we were all young and naive at the time, but you can still feel the ripples.”
These days he may like things a little more mellow than he used to but he puts that down to just part of growing up.
“When you have been involved in music for a long time, you start to see cycles; sounds and styles going in and out of fashion, so I guess now I stick more to the music that makes me feel something and hope that if it’s not in fashion now, it will be soon,” Coco said.
“There is a marked difference between the commercial pop world and the more, I think, interesting and progressive experimental world of music. It’s a bigger gulf than ever but this just reflects changes in wider culture,” he added.
With Sunset Hours Vol 2, Coco collaborates with Afterlife, aka Steve Miller, who is a master producer of quality chill-out music and has had more tracks than anyone else on the famed Café Del Mar album series, with music featured on more than 500 other compilations.
“I have worked with Afterlife on loads of projects, remix swaps and even a band called The Normalites. We are part of a small group of producers who have been making chill-out music for quite a while, we are good friends and love each other’s productions so it made total sense to collaborate on Marini’s on 57’s album,” Coco explained.
Artiste’s featured in the album include Les Baxter, Christian Prommer, Micko Roche, A Man In A Room, Vincent Delerm, DH Tram, A Forrest Mighty Black, Suba, John Beltram, Nick & Samantha, The Past Present Organisation, Coppe and Padilla.
“We picked the music from a bank of classic tunes that we love to play as well as putting the call out for new music from our producer and artiste friends. We have tried to make an album that will, first of all, enhance the atmosphere at Marini’s on 57, but that also pushes the idea of what a chill-out album should be.
“Hopefully, it’s a mix of the familiar and the new and exciting all sequenced into a stimulating musical journey,” Coco eplained.
More than just compiling the album, Miller and Coco have also produced a new track for it.
“It’s called, no surprise here, Sunset Hours (Marini’s Remix). It was a great chance for us to custom make a tune for a very special location.”
And he’s anticipating the upcoming gig on June 9 to be up there among his most classic moments in his time in the scene.
“The ones that come to mind immediately are the first time I heard Jose Padilla play a sunset session at Cafe Del Mar in Ibiza. I loved the way the music he selected felt like it was connected to what was happening, connected to nature, that was a beautiful thing.
“My own most amazing gig was probably supporting Robbie Williams at the San Siro Stadium in Milan, Italy. I played for an hour to a pitch full of crazy dancing fans. It was, to say the least, exciting.
“Other great moments include a sunset session outside Sydney Opera House; working with one of my heroes, Nick Cave, on a song; seeing my tune Yachts appear in House and Sex & The City. The next one will be playing the Sunset Hours Vol. Two launch party at Marini’s on 57,” he said.
After this gig, the rest of the year will see more projects from him and Miller.
“I am working with Miller on an EP of material called Endless, we were so inspired working together on the Sunset Hours (Marini’s Remix) track that we decided to do some more tunes together.
“On the DJ front, I have a busy summer schedule of European festivals including Glastonbury, Bestival and Electric Elephant. There’s a new Chris Coco album coming in autumn as well. I will be back in Asia at the end of the year too, so look out for some more DJ dates then.”
Chris Coco will be in Kuala Lumpur on June 9 for the launch of the album in celebration of Marini’s on 57’s Sunset Hours third anniversary and will be on the decks from 7pm onwards. Advanced booking is highly recommended for this launch.
MARINI’s on 57
Level 57, Menara 3 Petronas, Persiaran KLCC, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, KL
Doors open 5pm.
Price: Table reservation by bottle purchase only. First come first serve basis.
Advance booking: Yes.
Tel: 03-2386 6030 / 017-688 0167 / www.marinis57.com