Chris Coco is a tastemaker, DJ, broadcaster, producer, music curator, musician and journalist. He has been working as a DJ since the acid house explosion of the late 80s.
During his career he has edited DJ magazine, worked for BBC Radio 1 on the after hours show The Blue Room. He has made compilations for Playboy, Ministry of Sound, EMI Classical and Trojan Records. His music has appeared on many compilations including the big ones, Cafe Del Mar and Hotel Costes. Chris currently broadcasts and syndicates a weekly electronic music radio show called Melodica and runs his label, Melodica Recordings, out of his studio/office in London.
We had the chance to talk with him in anticipation of his new compilation release, Balearic 2 alonsigside Jim Breese.
Electronic Groove: Hello Chris. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. You’ve brought many years of great music to Electronic Groove and its listeners all the way since episode EG.094 . What keeps you inspired to continue mixing and producing after all these years?
Chris Coco: I think it’s the fact that you never (quite) make a perfect track. I am always trying to capture a feeling, a moment, in music and it always nearly works but equally there’s always a feeling that the next record will be just a tiny bit better. That’s the first thing, the second is just travelling and feeling new sensations and hearing new sounds that are inspiring. That inspiration never goes away.
Electronic Groove: Your show “Melodica” has a true following of avid listeners. How is your process of track selection and what are your favorite places to find new gems?
Chris Coco: The track selection is like an ongoing conversation, so every week new promos arrive, I find some new tunes on Bandcamp or Bleep or Juno or Discogs; I hear something on the radio or something another DJ plays at a gig that I have to track down. Then it depends on the feeling that week, the new tunes and what they make me think of, maybe a new record reminds me of something older, that goes in and that starts a musical journey somewhere. The great thing is that I get feedback from listeners every week, that really helps too.
Electronic Groove: You have brand new compilation coming out, Balearic 2. What made you decide to work with Jim Breese and if you can give us some insights on how the album came together?
Chris Coco: Balearic 2 is, as you might guess, the second in an ongoing series of compilations that we hope captures the modern Balearic spirit. Jim is an expert in that particular area having spent years as resident of Café Mambo, imagine how many sunsets he has played! He also puts together the compilations for KuDeTa, one of the best beach bars in Bali. With his expertise and musical knowledge we have a great chance of making amazing records together. The idea to do the comps had been floating around for years, but it just gelled for us last year in a pub in Brixton, we just decided we had to make no compromise, quality comps that we really loved and believed in. Kind of channeling the spirit of Jose Padilla’s early Cafe Del Mar series for a new generation.
Pre-order link: balearic.bandcamp.com/album/balearic-2 (to be out on July 1st)
Electronic Groove: We read that there will be a special beer sold at your shows with the name “Balearic”. How does Baleric trascend from music to craft beer?
Chris Coco: Well again that idea came from a moment of inspiration. We were trying to describe the compilation series using drink related metaphors, so we see ourselves as a special, boutique product, top quality, bespoke, for the discerning music lover, that’s why we do 180g vinyl and deluxe packaging. Then we said we’re like a craft beer rather than a big, mainstream fizzy lager. Then I said, why don’t we make a beer, to drink while you are listening to the album, something strong and flowery maybe. So Jim hooked up with a local brewery in Broadstairs, he lives down the road in Ramsgate, and here we are, album and beer ready to go.
Electronic Groove: You’ve been playing in Ibiza for some time with many sunsets under the belt… We are sure that there are some sunrises too… Is there any particular Ibiza memory worth sharing?
Chris Coco: I think Ibiza is about tiny moments of magic, that’s what makes every sunset feel special, so it might not be anything in particular, just a feeling, a string swell, a drum beat, a glance at your lover, a smile across a table, the sound of the waves on the rocks, the orange glow on skin, all those tiny things that make you feel amazing.
Electronic Groove: When Chris Coco hears the word “Balearic”, what 3 songs come to your mind?
Chris Coco: Ah, that changes every day of course. At the moment:
- Sacha Puttnam – Abraham’s Theme: The last track on the album, a real sunset moment, I used this at Singita Beach in Italy last weekend and it sounded wonderful.
- Chris Coco – Portmerion Tide Flow (A Vision Of Panorama Remix): This is a great remix of a track from my album How To Disappear Completely, it’s got that real hot afternoon feel.
- Pharoah Sanders – Sun Song: Calm, a DJ, a great producer and an obsessive music collector played this around sunset when I was in Tokyo. I’ve just managed to track down the album it’s one, called Shukuru.
Electronic Groove: We are guessing this summer you’ll be in Ibiza and surroundings. What comes next after a season of fun and leisure in the sun?
Chris Coco: After a season of fun and leisure in the sun comes… another season of fun and leisure in the sun. At the end of the year I will be back in Bali to play at Karma Beach and Potato Head, among other things. All this DJing feeds back into the Balearic albums of course, helping us find the very best selection of tunes for each volume of the collection.
Balearic 2 will be out on July 1st (Digital and Vinyl)