Santiago de Chile-dwelling Brian Gibbs aka ECHO PARK drops his debut LP on Skream’s Disfigured Dubz label, entitled Can’t Help It. Bittersweetly upbeat funk with a hip hop swagger, well worth your credits.
Two years in the making, with tunes recorded in 4 different countries, Can’t Help It aims to be a modern prototype for further directions in future r&b and soul music.
The brain-child of Los Angeles born globetrotter Brian Gibbs. Born in 1978 to a Motown-addicted single mother. Gibbs absorbed the music of Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles and Sam Cooke before he could even walk. Growing up in California led to a deep rooted and abiding love for Disco, P-funk and ultimately Hip Hop. On discovering bebop and then free-jazz, Brian swore to apply the improvisational techniques to modern technology.
Early works included eerie sonic predictions of things to come in the now globe conquering ‘west coast beat’ scene – including, on the infamous PCH label, a 13 minute opus that took us from latin jazz, to afro cuban funk and banging downtempo rhythms.
Later Gibbs would move to Tokyo, turn to techno influences, and begin to release 12″ vinyls at a frenzied pace! Since 1999 his projects have been diverse and undefinable, yet remained consistent and unmistakably original. June 2012 brings Echo Park’s ‘Cant Help It’ – the first ever full length album on Disfigured Dubz.
Currently relocating back to the United States from Chile, Brian himself describes the current Echo Park direction as ‘freaky bass driven hip hop and soul music with a touch of ‘Nintendo noir’.
Out of an 8.8 earthquake, riots and severe illness comes one of the most joyful records of the year. Brian Gibbs aka Echo Park has had a colourful life to say the least, living and making music in L.A., Tokyo, Madrid, Mexico City and now Santiago, Chile where he lives with his young family. Previously a producer of dark hip hop and dub, a series of disasters made him confront mortality and decide it was time to make the music that is closest to his heart: luscious, sunshine-infused electro-funk full of laid back attitude and “real songs”.
Skream has always been a lover of disco, boogie and electro – as anyone who’s heard one of his specialist sets or his slick’n’sleazy remix of Chromeo will know. It took just one hearing of Brian’s first Echo Park tracks via a mutual friend to snap them up for Disfigured Dubz. In fact he has chosen Echo Park for the first full album on the label… but first comes this killer single, a shmoooove bit of vocoder funk that sets the tone for Echo Park’s twin obsessions with technology and romance. Bundled with it are a gutbusting ravemonster of a rework by 12th Planet & Flinch that somehow still keeps the soul of the track intact, and Jon Convex taking it way underground with a deeper-than-deep analogue techno version. There’s something for everyone here and this is just the beginning.
Donde?: Santiago de CHILE
Quien?: Mcfly. Gunjack. MashupTV. The 13th Tribe. Wild Hadess. Geoslide. Khain74. Nais Williams. Rich Heebner. Dbit. Dufrayne. Echo Park.
ECHO PARK is the alias of LA-born Brian Gibbs, soaked in soul at a young age and filtering it through a NES cartridge, first in Japan via a series of twelves and now in Santiago, Chile. UGLY BOY MUSIC is his new label and they’re dropping a compilation, available digitally, this Friday. It’s a great primer into the Chilean beatmaking underground which, frankly, I should know a hell of a lot more about being half Chilean and all.