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Matson on Music

Music news, concert reviews, analysis and opinion by music writer Andrew Matson.

May 4, 2010 at 2:32 PM

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Seattle's Chocolate Chuck, possible chillwaver

Posted by Andrew Matson

chocolate chuck, kung foo grip.jpg
Chocolate Chuck in the background behind Kung Foo Grip; photo by me

"ThickNesQuick" by Chocolate Chuck

Behold: University of Washington student Chocolate Chuck's billowy sample-based beats/groove instrumentals.

The songs on his bandcamp page (where there are three EPs) stand on their own without lyrics, are essentially genre-less but recognizably in league with the local and national emergence of a multi-purpose millennial-generation DIY soul music you can rap to, sing to, or just vibe out to on headphones. Chocolate Chuck's minute-long songs are some of the best expressions of this crossover sensibility I've heard in Seattle, stacking up favorably next to OC Notes' dusty soul-house and THEESatisfaction's psychedelic space rap/jazz (Chocolate Chuck's sister Catherine Harris-White is in THEESatisfaction).

Chuck's tracks are head-bending, warm, vaguely nostalgic, and hiphop-y, not unlike the music of national rising "chillwave" star Toro Y Moi (playing Neumos May 27). If we're using chillwave as a genre title — it is useful when talking about in-between musics — there's a case to be made for Chocolate Chuck as a chillwaver, holding up the more disco/rap side of the spectrum alongside fellow UW student band U.S.F. I suppose the local version of chillwave's Ariel Pink/Neon Indian making-fun-of-music strain would be James Pants, formerly of Spokane. But that's sort of stretching it.

Anyhow, I'm really feeling Chocolate Chuck's free "Saturday Night Heathens" sketchtape, which is remixes of this free Crispus McFly EP, which is similar, also great, and in turn inspired by the free Chocolate Chuck release, "The Goodnight EP."

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