French collective Chinese Man recently passed through the Bay Area and DJ Velvet Einstein was there to catch up with the group. Tune in on Thursday, April 12th @ 4PM to hear about how the trio discovers their samples, the differences between instrumental and vocal hip-hop, and their love of Bay Area hip-hop.
Based in Marseille, Chinese Man formed in 2004 and is made up of High Ku, SLY, and Zé Mateo. Influenced primarily by hip-hop and electro — but also incorporating elements of funk, dub, reggae, and jazz — their sound places a heavy focus on beats and samples, reminiscent of early dub-heavy Gorillaz, Morcheeba, and DJ Shadow. They spent the mid-2000s launching their own label (Chinese Man Records) and releasing a series of EPs.
The group’s latest release, Shikantaza, acts as a link between its musical origins and new aspirations. Its title is a term used in the Sōtō school of Japanese Buddhism that can be translated to “just sitting,” making the album an invitation to let go, capture the moment, and find a personal path to enlightenment.
Photo Credit: Leo-Berne