He’s Paris’ multicolor wunderkind, a beast on the keys, a natural on the mic and a magnetic presence on stage. It’s no wonder the City of Lights is abuzz about Julien Granel, who collaborates with Jean-Charles de Castelbajac one day and tours across Europe the next. But Julien is also a diligent student of the funk by way of the patrimonial French Touch. He claims that at 13 years-old, hearing DJ Mehdi & Chromeo’s “I Am Somebody” on Ed Banger’s Ed Rec Vol 1 was a formative musical moment. So much so that 15 years later he reached out to the Funklordz to send them music. They decided to release “Dress Code” on the spot: a meticulously composed puzzle of grooves that twits and turns, dipping into boogie, electro and even a few choice jazz chops. A vibrant slice of nu-funk that’s equally compelling with Julien’s crooning (in French, of course) as it is as an extended instrumental with additional production by Julien Galner of the cult synth-specialists Château Marmont.
For the new year, we’re revamping our Juliet Picks Spotify playlists with curated selections from our friends and fam. The first one finds Fool’s Gold head honcho A-Trak returning to his roots: turntablism, with a heady collection of DJ-helmed nuggets. On the second, Choices blend modern day electrofunk, vintage synthpop and, dare we say, indie dance…and the whole thing has an airbrushed shimmer. Follow us on Spotify so you don’t miss out on further installments.
Choices is the supergroup of super-producers Oliver and Ryland Blackinton. Oliver helped shape the sound of contemporary electro-pop music; Ryland helps shape the sound of Oliver’s contemporary music. They work out of Chromeo’s Private Sector Studios in Burbank so it’s only right that we release this double-sided slice of slithering new-disco.“Cybernetic” is sophisticated dance floor frenzy, complete with Oliver’s signature drums and Ryland’s sleek guitar tricks. “Unite” is the moony comedown, the soundtrack to a hazy 6am stroll through a hotel corridor lined with food trays.
The voice. Following his critically lauded AUNTIE gospel-funk opus (and its dancefloor-ready remixes), Ian Isiah returns with his most naked, open and vulnerable work yet. “SEE YOU” sees him flowing over nothing but an acoustic guitar:a minimalistic backdrop that allows his vocals to soar. Last week’s performance of the song on COLORS was nothing short of triumphant. It’s a bit of a stylistic turn for us here at Juliet (and yes the track is still produced by Chromeo), but what else do you expect from Ian? Witness Brooklyn’s pan-gender angel take flight.
Photography: Thuan Tran
Bend the Rules EP
Something special for the producers and the beat makers out there: Anomalie and Chromeo teamed up for a collaborative SPLICE pack based around the “Bend The Rules” EP (JLT-007/008). Expect a ton of analog goodness fromthe Funklordz synth library plus the jazzy progressions and sophisticated sound design that make ANOMALIE’s tracks so unique. 101 one shots, 83 loops, 5 presets. Available now!
Shugga Service Podcast
Look out for Ian Isiah’s new podcast Shugga Service on Spotify. The funk messiah who does the most is also a radio show host. Ian will be coming at you every Friday with the news, his views, and conversations with vibrant guests like Justine Skye and Dev Hynes (Blood Orange).
Special Edition Vinyl
Our first ever full-lengh project and our first ever physical release is here! Ian Isiah’s AUNTIE, produced entirely by Chromeo, is available now on special edition green translucent vinyl. Get it in our shop!
Photography by Renell Medrano
Design by Joshua Padarathsingh
This is the first song that Onyx Collective’s bandleader and composer Isaiah Barr brought to Chromeo for production, the first time Chromeo worked on producing another band and the first record that gave Dave and Pee the idea to start this very label. “Tango” is a true slice of jazz-funk, something harkening back to the Brand New Heavies era or New York’s legendary Giant Step parties and yet, because it is written and performed by a crew of vibrant twentysomethings, everything about this record is firmly grounded in downtown NY’s present. Here, the whole ensemble shines: Princess Nokia’s spoken word intro sets the stage for another one of Julian Soto’s superb harmony-laden vocal performances; Isaiah Barr’s horn arrangements and Isaac Sleator’s keys provide the necessary flourishes and all the while, the rhythm section of Austin Williamson and Felix Pastorius effortlessly bops along, like a sunny strut down Canal St.
Photography: Adam Zhu
Our second single from downtown New York’s polymorphous avant-jazz ensemble Onyx Collective is an early Sly/early Funkadelic-inspired psych-soul number called “Hummingbird.” The band had performed it around town for years and brought it to Chromeo for co-production. It took months of studio iterations to properly immortalize it on record. “Hummingbird” is long, dense, deeply melodic and as such, a total oddity in today’s playlist oriented ADD streaming market…which actually means that it’s doing everything right.
Photography: Adam Zhu
ANOMALIE and CHROMEO
Bend The Rules Remixes
At the end of last year, we put out a 3-track synth-jazz odyssey by Montreal’s keyboard virtuoso Anomalie. Featuring Chromeo on vocals and talkbox, this collection of future beats now gets the remix treatment from Stones Throw’s whiz kid Mndsgn, electro-soul champion Full Crate and the absolute legend Vikter Duplaix. Enjoy.
Artwork: Mat Maitland
CHAMP DE MARS
Artwork: Mat Maitland
Bend the Rules EP
Something brand new from Montreal’s keyboard whiz and jazz virtuoso, featuring Chromeo on every track. Anomalie came to our Burbank studio, we let him use all our gear and added vocals and talkbox. He then worked his production and engineering magic and voilà…vintage synths making future beats.
Princess Pouty Remixes
Ian Isiah’s Chromeo-produced funk slapper gets a massive disco-house rework from the god himself, Roger Sanchez, complete with piano stabs and lush string arrangements. Instrumental and dub versions included. DJ Haram flips the track into Terius Nash-style R&B with Middle Eastern percussions on top. DJ Leonce takes it back to the ballroom with some uptempo madness.
New Album “AUNTIE” by
Our marquee release for 2020. A 7 song funk and soul transmission from Brooklyn’s pan-gender sex idol Ian Isiah, produced entirely by Chromeo. A soundtrack for this summer’s uprising, filled with hymns of self acceptance and empowerment. Pitchfork called it “larger than life” and the New York Times’ Jon Caramanica listed it a one of 2020’s best albums.
Ian returns with a dancefloor-ready, feisty funk manifesto, full of sass and pomp. Over a fuzzy bass, synth stabs and Chromeo’s signature talkbox, he eulogizes the bratty attitude of “momma’s baby, daddy’s maybe.” This time, the video finds him in head-to-toe clown attire, roaming around a deserted Coney Island: a Commedia dell’ Arte reimagined, Brooklyn style.
for Garage Magazine
Ian’s music is gospel, first and foremost. “When I go today to a Black church, it is to experience a certain ritual regeneration, a spiritual renewal through a cultural symbolic crossroads of the arts and belief, of faith and performance, of lyrical utterance and the dance, of metaphor and myth, of tradition and the uncanny.” Read more about his unique brand of retrofuturistic, sacred funk.
Words: Ashley Tyner
Photography: Eric Johnson
The first Juliet single by New York’s polymorphous avant-jazz ensemble, taken from a forthcoming project co-produced with Chromeo. “Baby” starts off as a sensuous, sinuous love ballad, then transforms into a complex auto-tuned vocal arrangement only to resolve in a three minute free jazz finale. This is downtown kids making music for adults.
Recorded and filmed at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests, this is Ian’s modern day gospel statement.Says Pitchfork: “‘This is my truth,’ he repeats, elevating the lyric to a mantra, his voice taking on a different flavor at every turn: soul, gospel, funk, R&B. The harmonies are impeccable, like a choir beamed directly into your skull.” The video features essential workers, activists, artists and family members from Ian’s community. In a moving finale, they share their truth directly to the camera.
The debut single by Ian Isiah: the church-trained, pan-gender sex idol from Brooklyn. He’s been at the forefront of New York’s fashion scene for years and has lent his vocal talents to Blood Orange, both on tour and on record. “N.U.T.S (N*GG* U THE SH*T)” is a Chromeo-produced soul-funk number about self-acceptance, with an accompanying visual showcasing Ian in all his grandeur, meandering New York City’s empty streets.