Chaos In The CBD and friends debut on Volcov’s Neroli


New Zealand duo Chaos In The CBD have teamed up with friends for their debut release on Volcov's Neroli imprint. 

The EP sees the London-based DJs bring together musicians and producers from all sides of the pond including Chicago DJ and producer Lee Pearson Jnr and his collaborator, vocalist K LaDawn, Kiwi saxophonist Nathan Haines and closer to home, South London pianists Joe-Armon Jones and Dave Koor. 

There's some special stories behind the release which dropped at the end of last year, one of which has been penned by Mr Bill Brewster about B-Side 'It's Up To Me'…

"Some songs are written in minutes, knocked off before lunchtime, and go on to sell millions (Elton John’s written a few of those). Some are laboured over for months with little attainment or reward at the end of the sometimes arduous process. But some are the result of serendipity, happy accidents, that almost happened despite themselves.

Case in point is the latest single from the Kiwi duo of Chaos In The CBD, It’s Up To Me, whose collaboration with Lee Pearson Jnr, Joe Armon-Jones and K LaDawn is every bit as byzantine as one might expect from this cast of thousands (well, several). It all began with a tune on the Invisible Spectrum EP, their second outing on Peckham’s Rhythm Section: Significant Others.

A lovely tune, unquestionably, with its drifting Rhodes pads and skittering percussion. But for Chicago’s Lee Pearson Jr, it took on greater significance. "A buddy of mine had shared some of their tunes and I was so inspired by this track I did a sketch idea with a lyric – then my collaborator K La Dawn added a vocal. This was back in 2017 and Enrico from Neroli hooked us up by email. Anyhow, I saw that they were coming to Chicago on a tour in 2017 and we met in a bar the day before they were due to go to Japan. At the end of the night they were in the car with me so I played them the sketch idea and they just went bonkers and really liked it. A few months later Beans hit me up and said, ‘Hey man I’m still interested in the song, I really like it, can you send over the vocal?’ Then he came up with a different tune completely.”

Chaos’s Beans takes up the slack: “We met Lee in this bar, had a drink and he was telling us all these stories about working with Larry Heard, going to The Warehouse, his first trip to Japan, Ron Hardy; schooling us about Chicago basically. We just clicked. Anyway at the end of the night we jumped in his car and he played our track but with a vocal over the top of it. I think he’d been planning to do this all along. So it was quite surreal but we were quite blown away.”

Fast forward a few months later and Beans is working on a new idea in the studio utilising the work that Pearson and LaDawn had put together. The final piece of the Chaotic jigsaw was Joe Armon- Jones, who they knew via Peckham buddies Yam, “Beans had been chatting with me about working on something for a while,” says Joe. “He sent that track over and asked if I was feeling anything. So just I kind of solo-ed on it and they just chopped it up a bit.” Sounds simple, but the end result is a richly textured slice of late night groove-house.

Fortunately, the new tune meets with Pearson and LaDawn’s approval. But then months go by. Pearson occasionally offers a friendly prod in the direction of Peckham, until finally, les frères Helliker-Hales are holed up in a hotel room together, slightly spangled, re-listening to the song. “You know what,” says Beans. “This is bloody good.” They weren’t wrong. It’s Up To Me may have taken the circuitous route to your local record store, but the journey wasn’t half worth it. Enrico ‘Volcov’ Crivellaro is now releasing the 12-inch via his vaunted label Neroli – it’s yours now to enjoy."

Buy the EP HERE.