Chris Coco has had a busy year playing over 50 sunsets in Ibiza and across the Mediterranean in Italy. Throughout the time playing at these extended DJ sessions of sunshine and sundown music he spent his days considering where his favourite place was and concluded that it wasn't a place but more so a time of day, just before sunset. With that realisation he went back to his studio and started to produce music and created an album which reflects these poignant vignettes.
Firstly, 'My Favourite Place (Before Sunset)' is a really good album. It weaves a musical story that is neither strenuous or hard to listen too, but more so a tale of melodic slow grooves which are made to be played at home on a Sunday morning or a 'back at mine,' as much as kicking back in a hammock in San Jose. The album opens with 'Like Diamonds,' a special collaboration where Japanese artists DJ Calm, Jan and Naomi provide whispering folk vocals over chords and delicate keys. Afterwards, 'Every Day Is Today' provides a more melancholy texture, Jo Silverston plays cello on this track which is sampled to create a long looping wash of deep emotive music. It's proper balearic but also has a real melancholy feel and wouldn't be out of place soundtracking an emotional Saturday night BBC4 drama.
'Lillestrøm' co-produced with Rune Lindbæk is more of a slow downtempo synth workout which yields the listener on a voyage of introspection, interestingly, this track is part of a selection of tracks on the album were recorded in Scandinavian countries proving that sunsets are thematically always present but the idea of that 'before sunset' feeling could be also felt in snowfall as much as in the heat. Its a track that is reminiscent of 'The Knife - Silent Shout' as much as an Ennio Morricone record.
As the album closes we are hit with the finale of 'Something Everything' a meditative piece which is optimistic and emotional. Coco really goes for the heart-strings on this track pulling together a spoken word piece which questions existence and a sense of place. It's an impressive end to an album that demonstrates a clear understanding of the art of chill but also appreciates the many different facets within that idea the album that includes a lot of instrumentation as percussive drum loops and guitars weave in and out of tracks.
Chris Coco has made an album that provides a fair statement in downtempo music. He remains under the radar for many but could also be noted by others as their best kept secret. However, with an album like 'My Favourite Place' there is a real inclination that it's made by an artist who has been quietly going on his own journey through his own time, not rushing things through but breathing in and out slowly and in doing so creating music that is contemplative and at times beautiful.
In a world of Headspace apps, inner sanctuary and mindfulness in these strange times we are living in, this album feels like a cure for our inner need for calmness. The search and understanding of what makes a favourite place is important to Coco throughout this rich sounding album, he uses this idea and presents a slow road scrapbook of stunning and highly personal moments he has felt and experienced.
You can pick the album up on Bandcamp now.