NEBRASKA – CHANT DES OISEAUX ft. BEBELLE

Stepping up for his fourth release on Heist, we’ve got sample wizard Nebraska coming in with some lovely chops and a giant curveball of an a-side that has summer anthem written all over it. Curious? Dive into this massive 4 track EP by the London native who keeps on bringing the goods.

The Chant des Oiseaux EP is built around a collaboration between Nebraska and BeBelle. Anyone who’s picked up Nebraska’s 2021 release on his own Friends & Relations label will have already heard a glimpse of what happens when these 2 get into the studio. They have a mutual love for French vocals and we can’t blame them; everything BeBelle says, whispers and chants just sounds syrupy sweet.

This might be most evident on the title track of this single, where modulated Rhodes chords, distant chirping and fluttering of birds and a minimal beat form the foundation for BeBelle’s mesmerizing vocal. The dreamy and contemplative vibe of this track makes you long for those endless days of summer. We’re not sure if it’s a 70’s summer we’re longing back for, or 2022’s summer to look forward to, but with music like this, it doesn’t really matter, does it?

If you were still hovering mid-air on the vibe of the A1, ‘Skelp Tune’ – the second A track – will take you back to the ground and straight into the club. Skelp tune is a Detroit inspired house track (Nebraska sent us a ‘note to self’ saying ‘you are not Moodymann’ along with the first demo of this one). He doesn’t have to be; this track has all the clever sampling and disco energy of a classic Nebraska track, nicely tucked into one hell of a groove.

The flip starts with ‘Cop Show’: A no frills disco house track with a life affirming string section, guitar licks all over and a bottom end to freak out your neighbour’s neighbours.

We round up the EP with another collaboration with BeBelle, with the track ‘Henri Rousseau’. The track is built on a groove that almost gallops along, with strings, outer-worldly vocals and howling soundscapes that turn this track into a covert disco burner on the more experimental side of house music.

On the Chant des Oiseaux EP, Nebraska effortlessly shows off his impressive sampling skills, electronic fiddling, and powerful drum programming, reminding us that he’s not lost an inch of talent over the years and manages to surprise us with his music. Knowing him, this is simply because he’s simply exploring new ways to keep surprising himself. – Releases March 25, 2022 via Bandcamp player below, Juno and all good record stores.

What are you up to today?

Hi – BeBelle and I are up on the north coast of Scotland, taking a break from city life. We’ve been down by the river watching the birds and we’ve been on a beautifully windswept beach with our dog.

Tell us a little about the Chant Des Oiseaux EP.

The EP features a couple of tracks with vocals by BeBelle (who’s from Belgium originally). We’ve been working together a in a way where I find or write a text, she translates it into French, and we record her. Moving the text into a language I don’t fully understand makes it somehow more useable for me. Musically, it’s still all about that hip hop-influenced sampling.

This release is for lovers of …

I guess the title track reminds me a little of Herbert, but I’d resist flattering myself with that comparison. I think a lot of what I do pings between Paris and Detroit in the 90s. Certainly ‘Skelp Tune’ owes a debt to MoodyMann, and ‘Cop Show’ perhaps to stuff on Roulé or Crydamoure.

Where is the best place to listen to it and what should we be drinking?

Oh, I hope much of this is primed for a warm summer evening yet to come. What to drink? I’ll have whatever you’re having.

What is the most recent record that you bought and who is it by?

I absolutely love the recent album by Nala Sinephro. Sublime. I heard on Spotify and then got the vinyl.

What was the last piece of studio kit that you bought and why do you love it?

Truth be told, I don’t hold much at all in the way of hardware. However, the last two pieces of studio kit were birthday gifts from my cousin. A Joe Meek compressor and a tiny drum machine, which is literally just a circuit board. The two together sound great and are really inspiring.

If someone wanted to get to know your taste, what album should they listen to?

An album that nearly brings together a few strands is ‘Mother Nature’s Son’ by Ramsey Lewis. Killer late 60s soul-jazz covers of songs from The Beatles’ White Album with early electronic Moog effects, produced by Charles Stepney. And it’s got breaks. So much of what I’m into on one record… I must go and listen to it again immediately.

What do you like to do when you’re not making music?

Well, I spend a lot of my time making creative work of one sort or another – whether music, visual or written. Outside of that, I love to cook and to eat at great restaurants – of which luckily there are so many where we live. One of my current favourites is Nandine, a Kurdish cafe that does sensational meze boxes. You can eat your way around a good few culinary cultures in London, and that’s a great thing.

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