Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Chinese Man - Racing With The Sun

The French collective Chinese Man centres on DJs High Ku and Zé Mateo and beatmaker Sly.They may be based in Marseilles but their hip-hop vision is global – for latest album Racing With The Sun, the trio, plus assorted international guests, adopt a continental Supermarket Sweep approach that is Gorillaz-like in its eclecticism.Over predominantly dubby beats, Chinese Man embroider African, Asian and Latin influences, precise scratching and a mass of obscure samples, from Canadian folk group The Wailin’ Jennys for the title track to a line from the French version of Easy Rider to end Down.The quirky, dub-heavy Miss Chang (sampling Chinese singing and with lyrics from Taiwan MC and California’s Cyph4), the defiant, Arab Spring-influenced Stand (blending Middle Eastern strings and melismatic singing with samples from US Civil Rights speeches), and the energetic JOGJA (with Indonesian rapping from M2MX and Kill The DJ) are highlights in a good-natured set that largely boils its many ingredients down to an appealing syrup of mellow instrumental vibes.

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