Tuna and beatbox to go
One-time jazz saxophone student Matthew Chicoine was struggling to make ends meet by working in a pizza parlour in Detroit, home of the Ford Motor company, Tamla Motown and, of course, techno music. Techno legend Carl Craig was feeling rather peckish one day – even techno legends have to eat sometimes - and wandered out of his studio into Chicoine’s establishment to order a pizza to go. Seizing this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Chicoine concealed a cassette in a rye bread sandwich, and surreptitiously inserted it into the food order. On the cassette (the early nineties were still relatively primitive in technological terms, after all), were some of his latest tunes and mixes. As in all good techno fairy tales, and despite chipping a front tooth, Craig loved it and became a mentor to the pizza delivery boy, signing him to his label, employing him as a turntablist for the Innerzone Orchestra.
His studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbour gave Chicoine the tools he needed to create his own musical vision. A mere forty-five minutes away from Detroit, the academic environs of Ann Arbour were however a quantum leap away musically, and those who professed a fondness for the techno music which poured out of Detroit were stigmatised. Hip-hop, jazz and funk ruled the day, and it wasn’t until he adopted the professional name of Recloose and moved to Detroit that Chicoine’s ears were opened to the brave new musical world awaiting him. Debate continues over whether his oeuvre is best described as ‘dancefloor’ or as ‘downtempo’ and this is one discussion which will not be easily resolved. (Indeed, one tune is referred to a ‘gilded, nocturnal paean’ although this is possibly an error in transcription). Suffice to say that there are too many elements concealed within his body of work to describe it neatly as belonging to a particular genre, or indeed sub-genre. Recloose himself notes that he prefers to ‘create less with my brain and more with my innards’. His mission, however, remains unchanged – ‘to add to the musical narrative in whatever style it decides to manifest’.
Since his fateful meeting with techno pioneer and erstwhile mentor Craig, Recloose has released a series of albums, and is currently on his fourth, the resonant ‘Perfect Timing’. In October 2008, he won the Best Electronica/Dance album award at the New Zealand Music Awards.
Recloose toured New Zealand in 2000, and performed at the Wellington jazz festival. Falling in love with the people and the countryside, he uprooted from Detroit and moved to New Zealand. Currently living in Auckland, he retreats to Titahi Bay near Wellington when the ovine pressure threatens to become overwhelming. Recent disturbing figures note that there are sixteen sheep per capita in New Zealand.
This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the culturebase.net partner institutions.
Festival of Electronic Music
(26 November 08 - 30 November 08)