April 4th, 2010 By chauncey dandridge
what can we say that has not been said already about the most dynamic of duos that goes by the name of
one would think very little but we think otherwise. we have gotten hold of several other reviews of the new ep "feel the zuzz" by koko dozo available on red star digital music and we undoubtedly agree with each and every one of them. in one review, they had been called the love child of deee-lite and kudu (a brooklyn bred electro band of recent arrival) and we certainly were in complete agreement with that comparison and were a little jealous we didn't think of it first. koko dozo's newest effort can certainly be pushed into certain boxes in order to help a reader better understand their wonderfully unique sound. the fabulous part of it is that the artists and bands they are compared to, while brilliant in their own rite, were pretty much so varied in style and crossed so many genres themselves when they landed on the unsuspecting scene that the music industry had a very difficult time categorizing their sound as well. koko dozo may certainly fall into that category of uncategorizable but one thing is for sure, they are two amazing musicians filled with passion and commitment with a interestingly gritty soul.
the tracks in this collection feature majestic rhythms, funky synth spikes and cliche free melodies. polarity/1 is the musical magistrate, in charge of creating the otherworldly beats and bounce setting the planetary vibrations while amy douglas supplies the sonic spice and lyrical love which bursts with soul and sassiness. her vocal arrangements are serpentine in movement that slither along polarity/1's disco funk drenched drum beats and electronic dilly dallies with ease. rather than comparing them to any other artist from the past or present, i leave them to carve their own way in this everchanging music industry. from the sexy gallop of 'grab ya' to the the stop start groove of 'bastards in bazbador', feel the zuzz is a wonderful and pivotal stop in the young koko dozo legacy that leaves much hope and intrigue as to where their spaceship will take them next.
Author: Connie Phillips Published: Mar 29, 2010 at 9:02 am.
Putting Koko Dozo or their recent five track EP, Feel the Zuzz, on a particular genre shelf with a clean, neat label is a difficult task.
That pounding, repetitive rhythm could convince you to slide them into the dance category, but what about those eighties pop hooks and keyboard riffs? And let's not forget tv bhe obvious disco sparkle and the inexplicable urge to pull on some polyester while listening. The minute you're comfortable with all that, you'll be haunted by an inkling you've been transported to another time, place, or maybe even world.
Don't let that scare you away; you'll be missing out on something special.
Koko Dozo has some real star power behind the name. Polarity/1 plays multiple instruments and produces while Amy Douglas brings her four-and-a-half-octave voice to the recording studio along with exceptional piano playing and songwriting skills. I guess exceptional talent goes without saying, though. Without it, jamming together all the elements I've describe into a five-track EP might give the listener a hot, sticky mess. With these three artists at the helm, the end result is highly polished and refreshing instead.
Highlights include "Spaceman," "Gangsta," and "Grab Ya." From the opening rhythms of "Spaceman," the listener knows they're in for something completely different than the normal dance/electronica fare. A hybrid cross of something basic and primal, yet sleek and shiny, it's sure to fill the dance floor of any club it's played at. With a title like "Gangsta" you might expect to hear some hip-hop influences. Even though you'd be wrong, you won't be disappointed. This track also highlights those other-world influences I mentioned. The synthesized arrangements transport you to I'm not quite sure where, but it's filled with disco lights and a giant glitter ball spinning over a crowded dance floor. "Grab Ya" does just that, with an opening that takes you from that distant planet to a South American rain forest.
So, first and foremost, Feel the Zuzz is an electronica/dance EP, but it is tinted with so many other influences that it should appeal to many audiences that don't frequent the clubs. Keep your eyes peeled on these pages, as we will be launching a contest in the coming weeks. In the meantime, if you're into the space-aged, eighties-tinged dance sounds, then check out Koko Dozo and the EP.
Time Out New York / Issue 756: Mar 25-31, 2010
Is Koko Dozo the love child of Deee-Lite and Kudu? After listening to the tough, fun new EP from the duo of Polarity/1 and former Squeezebox house-band chanteuse Amy Douglas, one could be forgiven for thinking so. (Sun Ra may be a relative as well; the pair claim to be from another planet.) Feel the Zuzz! is undeniably a bit campy--check that cover art--but Kodo Dozo ain't no joke band. For one thing, Douglas is a legitimate belter, with a big and soulful voice that could pass for a disco diva's; for another, Polarity/1's electro productions are strutting and stomping. Perhaps most importantly, the songs themselves are tuneful little ear-borers, harking back to NYC clubland's '80s heyday--these tracks would have killed at Danceteria.--Bruce Ttantum
NEW RELEASES MARCH 2010 - REVIEWED BY DICK PORTER
Just for a change of pace, here's some funky electronica. Fronted by seismic-voiced chanteuse, Amy Douglas, this New York duo has a five track EP out on Marty Thau's Red Star label. Which, given Marty's track record, could mean that hardly anyone will catch on to this for a decade or so, but then it'll be hailed as a work of genius. Which'd be a pity, as Amy has a phenomenally powerful set of pipes that are well showcased on opener, 'Spaceman', which sees la Douglas rattle windows in the manner of Chaka Khan. 'Lay That Body Down' is a sultry electro workout that features Amy issuing her hard-to-ignore command over Polarity/1's driving beats and funky bass (he's got himself a hat with a spike on it, so it's obvious he can be trusted). 'Gangsta' is a game of two halves, Ralph. On the one hand, the duo's space age manifesto is represented by some suitably futuristic rhythms that are juxtaposed by an entirely earthbound, soulful vocal. It's a bit like what you might expect to hear if they had a funky bordello on the USS Enterprise. 'Grab Ya' takes us further into the icy vacuum of the solar system, but at least we have Amy's sweet vocal to keep us warm. Final track, 'Bastards in Bazbador' finds us finally adrift, way past the heliosphere, while Amy and Polarity cavort with the spacemen on a Clinton brand mothership. Outta site!
By Bobcubular, Monday, March 22, 2010
Its time to channel your inner diva and drag out that polyester suit your moms left in the closet complete with moth balls with that drag scent which tells your sensors 'its Koko Dozo' time, so report to the dance floor with your bad self and watch the luminous colors of the floor swirl under you whist you boogie on down.
Koko Dozo is a duo hailing from the USA with multi-instrumentalist/producer Polarity/1 and diva-tastic vocalist Amy D. When new generations of listeners try to find their own sort of clincher like their own 'Donna Summer' or their own 'Gloria Gaynor', no doubt they should expand their field a little more wider in scope, especially when fabulous acts like Koko Dozo have the goods and the smooth operator type delivery that harkens back those old disco ghosts of the 90s which were held by the likes of Deee Lite.
This is truly a great EP that I had the honor to review and it shows. I mean Amy D's vocals can be put in the same category with the likes of Har Ton, Lady Kier and heck even Har Mar Superstar.
There was not a moment that I skipped any of the tracks on this well thought out EP and the hits kept coming like a bad Rick Dees top 40 ribald outburst and I will applaud their hard work for squeezing out such a great output.
My own gripe (which is ridiculous to mention) is that it's a tad short, yes its stupid I say that because, well it is an EP, but it makes me hunger for more from this tremendous duo.
Okay I'm gonna keep this track analysis short because I really want you to experience this EP.
'Spaceman' will get you into the groove almost in a instant with its fine line of instrumentation in vain to disco of course, but done with concerted effort, and let's not forget the Theremins as well!
'Gangsta' is my personal favorite out of the litter with its clever lyrics such as "flexing muscles, popping collars playing Scarface in their own little mind" intertwined with the "everybody. . .sooooo gangsa" that makes this one hell of a disco tune with a hidden message. Even though that this review was kept deceptively short, it's with good reason "THIS IS A FUCKEN GOOD EP!". We want the rest of the world to join in our delight of drag-dom, liberty and flying that freak flag because people in this world are becoming way too conditioned to dance for themselves! So come on, buy a copy of Feel the Zuzz, bust out the odd platform shoe or 2 and go nuts!
mar 18, 2010
Mention the duo Koko Dozo and the first description people always come to find is "space disco", a sort of soundtrack for the alien lifeforms that abound outside of our own realms. But this isn't some bullshit barroom jukebox in Mos Eisley but rather, in the form of producer Polarity/1 and vocalist--nay, belter--Amy Douglas, the sharpened knife tunes of Koko Dozo are more akin to the tribal beats of an underground sect of lifeforms who've come to set up shop on our soil here on Earth; their only aim being to keep partying it up until they're truly discovered for what the tribe really is.
And that's the heart of Koko Dozo, a hodgepodge pop entity that's bathed in dance music's more glammy, grimy past and full of the early 80s excess that birthed pop music from its disco father and mother. But with teaser track "Lay That Body Down" from their next week-released EP Feel The Zuzz, the duo put a huge amount of their production into creating this tropical world of heat and sweat and ferocity, where wild beasts roam and lay, almost as if some other-worldly safari was happening right in the studio with Polarity/1 and Ms. Douglas. And hell, who knows, that's just what might have been.
BY PETER DAVIS
My favorite post-disco spaced-out, funked-up duo Koko Dozo (producer/composer Polarity/1 and singer Amy Douglas) have a new EP, Feel the Zuzz, dropping on March 23rd on Red Star Records, run by Marty Thau who was the original manager of the New York Dolls. I asked Douglas to explain the album's freaky, otherworldly sound. "If illegal space aliens was all self exploration and had a cool feel to it, Feel The Zuzz is all about heat," Douglas tells me. "We've been here on Earth a while now, and we like to party, and when we do, we like to party in hot weather cities, from the barrio to the beaches, so you could say it's hot weather vacation beach party music, it's the ultimate urban hot weather album, so if you're ready to sizzle in Rio, Miami, Hamptons, Lagos or Kingston, this EP should be in your iPod." Meanwhile, tunes like "Lay That Body Down" and "Bastards in Bazbador" sound amazing on the pavement of the Lower East Side too.
POSTED BY MIKE WILSON ON SEPTEMBER 28, 2009
Koko Dozo are a Global Funktronica Duo from New York City by way of Outer Space!
Polarity/1, multi-instrumentalist/arranger/composer/producer, makes songs without borders and beats for curved dancefloor using REAL SPACE-AGE COMPUTERS! In his laboratory cave, he grinds up shards of lost cultural artifacts, barks and growls of ghosts [...]
KOKO DOZO are a Global Funktronica Duo from New York City by way of Outer Space! Polarity/1, multi-instrumentalist/arranger/composer/producer, makes songs without borders and beats for curved dancefloor using REAL SPACE-AGE COMPUTERS! In his laboratory cave he grinds up shards of lost cultural artifacts, barks and growls of ghosts in machines and luminescent sarcastic spaghetti. Then he adds a pinch or two of the house special surreal spice.
P/1 has four cult classic CDs of both electro-folk songs and all-instrumental electronica on subTEKst Recordings including one by Audioplasm. He also composes for film and for performances by Battery Dance Company and Quorum Ballet of Lisbon.
Out of this smoking brew flies Inter-Galactic Empress Amy Douglas who vaporizes the earwax of her victims with four and a half octaves worth of nuclear acid lung power. A punky songwriting funk-ette who sharpened her teeth on Earth at downtown NYC legendary music haunts, including the notorious Squeezebox House Band where she played keys and did a whole lot of singing, she has worked with numerous legends from George Clinton to the late great Illinois Jacquet. From jazz to funk to punk, there is nothing her tongue hasn't torched.
This post-pop duo of illegal music aliens, on the lam from Earth's corporate noise plantation, joined forces to re-splice the DNA of the Cosmic Hum. To accomplish this, they forge molecules from every genre of Earth tones into Global Funk-tronica, (known to Earthlings as Post-Disco), to feed the ears of illegal music aliens everywhere -- one of whom might be dancing around at this very moment in the room next to you! Bending genres and always in some state of experimentation, deep in the lab, their mission has proven successful thus far, as they've spread their funky sound to such Earth Venues as Don Hills, The Nacotheque Party, The Crooked Disco Party, Public Assembly, Nublu, The Annex, The Rebel Rebel Party, and more!
Since the release of their Global Funktronica debut album, entitled Illegal Space Aliens, and the success of their single "Boomchi" which was featured on the final season of Showtime's "The L Word," Koko Dozo has been receiving stellar reviews all across the Internet.
Referring to the track I Know Who You Are, pleasedontstare.com said, "I promise you won't be disappointed. This is beautiful music. Perfect for a Saturday afternoon." They went on to say that "they have some of the funkiest dance music I've heard in a while, as well as some extremely dope ballads and social commentary sprinkled in their as well.
"The blog Dancefloor Mayhem has also given Koko Dozo high praise. Referring to The Shine, they said, "This is a really fun house track. Has a great old school vibe. Reminds me of Incognity, Masers at Work and a lot of the quality deep house from Strictly Rhythm circa '93-'95."
Mark Kirby, a writer for Musicdish e-Journal said, "One of the strengths of Illegal Space Aliens…is that there are nine choice cuts on this record. No fluff, just a statement. This should be the new trend. This should also be an example of how to make dance music that is intelligent and cool, not dumbed down to the level of morons in too-tight $90 designer jeans."Gasper Oliviera, of GBH.tv says "New Yorkers looking for music that embraces their city's cultural diversity ought to check them out. The best way to survive in a melting pot is to get close.
"Making this kind of music in the studio is one thing, but live performance is a whole different art form. However, it's clear that Koko Dozo knows how to put on a show. Referring to a video of a Koko Dozo performance, mefeedia.com says that, "Polarity/1 is rocking the guitar while Amy sings her heart out. The song has a bit of an otherworldly vibe at times, but it is without a doubt another great jam for the party at Tubway. One thing is clear from watching both videos -- Koko Dozo have a definite stage presence and know how to work a crowd!"So with that, prepare your eyes and ears for a whole new brand of SpaceFunk! Space…is THE FACE!
May 30, 2009
Posted by benhameen in Funk, R&B/Soul
You know I've got love for this band right here and here is one of their latest creations, I Know Who You Are. Dope as hell as usual if you haven't had a chance to get to know Koko Dozo go here and check out some more of their music. I promise you won't be dissapointed. This is beautiful music. Perfect for a Saturday afternoon.
I had to go ahead and throw another one of their jams up here. This song Shine is so vicious. We premiered the remix before and while that was fire I have to say that this original may be better. Big House Tune!!! Tell me you can sit and listen to this without dancing?
Thursday, April 02, 2009
c/o Carmine P. Filthy
So a few weeks back I sent this dope new track from Koko Dozo along with their recent collaboration with Morsy. 'Gangsta' somehow got lost in the fold and I'd love for you to give it another listen.
Coco Machete has just licensed it for an upcoming compilation and I feel like it's one of the best closing set tracks I've heard in a minute. 'Gangsta' is perfect for that 4 AM set to wind it down.
These Disco Aliens have a lot more coming over the next year, so I suggest that you don't sleep on it now...Check out their newsletter 'SPACE ALIEN NATION' Here.
THURSDAY, MARCH 26, 2009
This interesting Koko Dozo group released an album last year with a classic vocal disco house sound. Brought back some fun memories for me.
Koko Dozo - Gangsta
Koko Dozo - Spaceman
Koko Dozo and MORSY - The Shine
wednesday, february 25, 2009
I love collaborations. I also love my friends here in NYC that continue to pound away at their art, despite the state of the country. Cosmic House act Koko Dozo got my boy Morsy to pop over to their studio and they ended up with a brokenbeat NYC House sound that proves the legacy of Masters At Work is still here, even in the indie scene. In fact, Morsy will tell you Louie Vega is his favorite DJ.
Koko Dozo, also recorded a new one called 'Gangsta' that I just freaking love. Great end of the night track. It's got that classic Chicago House sound that would easily fit in with a Trax Record set.
Mar. 20th, 2009 at 2:34 PM
Polarity/1 and his Post-Pop project Koko Dozo (with vocalist Amy Douglas) had the honor of making music with one of NYC's greatest Funkmeisters, DJ Morsy from the Nanachil Crew. They just finished this little pearl called "The Shine." Co-produced by Polarity/1, the track features him on guitar, percussion, voice percussion & synth.
"This track really makes you want to dance. The Chorus are made to give your speakers a sense of living and Amy turns them into a pumping machine. Polarity/1's guitar performs its funk screams while piano is jazzy all over the track. The song issues all the polyvalence of this talented duo from planet Koko Dozo (producer Polarity/1 and vocalist Amy Douglas). The beat is like a funky-house piece of stone endlessly burning through space with the bright tail of Amy's voice. Dj Morsy appears as a co-producer and composer and pilot of this aircraft that takes this sound to Earth. This collaboration began when Koko performed at Morsy's monthly NYC party. After that they went straight to the studio where they experienced 'The Shine' together."-- Nicholas Guida Dozo performed at Morsy's monthly NYC party. After that they went straight to the studio where they experienced 'The Shine' together."-- Nicholas Guida
are the cosmic cousins of Georgio Moroder and Parliment. Amy Douglas' vocals are deep and soulful yet punk and jazzy all at the same time. Douglas does not suffer from the too often used R&B tones of many a 'deep house' record.
The songs of Koko Dozo, produced by Polarity 1, are familiar in just the right ways. We feel it's best descirbed as Stomp-Funk Space-Disco for the sect who are tired of the same overused 'electro' tinged strut numbers and the slow shuffle of the 'bearded disco' that floods the mirror ball soundscape these days.
Koko Dozo have been recently featured by Paper Magazine, New York promotional tastemakers- GBH and in Februaray the world will be able to hear 'Boomchi' soundtrack the The L Word. They also performed at the one year anniversary of Brooklyn's Crooked Disco party this past Halloween and can be seen often throughout the entire Big Apple.
We suggest you give them a listen, especially if you need some alien boogaloo in your life to get through these cold months.
Here's three tracks for you to give a listen to and download via our friends at SoundCloud: 'Boomchi' and 'Face On The Dance Floor' are both featured on their debut album 'Illegal Space Aliens' available via subTEKst Records. 'Spaceman' is a new joint the group has whipped up.
Polarity/1 and his Post-Pop project Koko Dozo (with vocalist Amy Douglas) had the honor of making music with one of NYC's greatest Funkmeisters, DJ Morsy from the Nanachil Crew. They just finished this little pearl called "The Shine." Co-produced by Polarity/1, the track features him on guitar, percussion, voice percussion & synth.
MONDAY, MARCH 9, 2009
Feeling like you need a little pick me up? Do you have a case of the 'Mondays'? Missing the L Word already? Well, suck it up. Download this track (and three others) for a disco dance party in your ears. The song 'Boomchi' was featured on an episode of the L Word so it might sound a bit familiar. Seriously though, it's funky. You've been warned. Just click here for some crazy, cocaine inspired disco goodies.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
c/o Carmine P. Filthy & Low Life Inc.
So a few weeks back I sev a lot more coming over the next year, so I suggest that you don't sleep on it now...Check out their newsletter 'SPACE ALIEN NATION'.
Posted in DANCE MUSIC, Exclusives/Bonus Joints, Fresh to Death, Rock N Rolla, club bangers, hip hop with tags don’t read tags go get the good music!!
Posted In: new music . By Sheena Beaston Feb. 12, 2009
Here's a brief rundown of the goings-ons and goings-ups of the space-age funk duo.
- New song! Gangsta is just that. A bit of filth, a LOT of funk, and overall, a thugged out tasty time in your ears. (snag below)
- Their track, Boomchi, was used in the latest episode of The L Word. Never saw the show, cause I don't get those preemo channels, but thankfully, we've got a clip from the ep, and it's pretty sweet to hear the song used within!
- Koko Dozo is playing Sugarland on February 21. Oy, last time I was there, [ahem Dan], we had too much fun and my outfit looked like a nerdy pirate. Anyways, go check 'em out.
Posted By DiskoApostel unter 1.02.2009, 12:27:00 PM
Koko Dozo are the cosmic cousins of Georgio Moroder and Parliment.Amy Douglas' vocals are deep and soulful yet punk and jazzy all at the same time.Douglas does not suffer from the too often used R&B tones of many a 'deep house' record.
Last night among my stops waz Bungalow 8 for the chic lil jump off hosted by Malik So Chic. The party waz eclectic, stylish and a lot of fun. I'm some new Sh*t this year and I have challenged myself to get out of the studio and my comfort zone and meet NEW...EXCITING...ECLECTIC people. Well so far, so good this year!
Last night one of the first people I met waz Amy Douglas and her husband (sorry bro I forgot your name). Amy handed me a CD and told me she fronted a band called KoKo Dozo. I politely took the CD, skimmed the cover and promised I'd listen to it and maybe even check her out when she performs live here in NYC. Now I have learned over the years not to get too excited when someone tell me they're a music artist cause I've spent some long days in studios with acts that...well...needed a little more time developing their craft. Imagine how I felt when I popped the CD in and Amy's big ass, sultry, greasy, sassy voice came booming thru my headphones and proceeded to ride the herky jerky, bass and drum heavy 4/4 back beat of their first ct on the CD called Face On The Dancefloor. I FRICKIN LOVE THAT SONG! It's part Dee-Light, part soulful 90's house music ala Funky Green Monsters and Martha Wash and part something wholly of their own creation. So after all that you KNOW I had to research them and get online and write up one ole profile post.
Influences: A Tribe Called Quest, Afrika Bambaata, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Art Blakey, Basement Jaxx, Bela Bartok, Benny More, Betty Davis, Bill Evans, Bjork, Black Sabbath, Bob Marley, Bonde Do Role, Brazilian Girls, Brian Eno, Bugge Wesseltoft, Buju Banton, Burt Bachrach, Calle 13, Captain Beefheart, Celia Cruz, Charles Mingus, Chic, Claude Debussy, Da Lata, Daft Punk, David Bowie Dee-Lite, Depeche Mode, Devo, Doc Boggs, Donna Summer, Duke Ellington. What the hell kind of band has that list of people named as influences? A pretty darn funky, soulful, colorful, talented and creative one I'd say. The 3 song promo CD I received has me hooked. I can wait to interview them, hear the full CD and post a more in depth piece on them in the future.
Feb 21 2009 10:00:P: SUGARLAND New York, New York
Feb 28 2009 10:00P: NACOTHEQUE @FONTANA'S New York, New York
Until then enjoy what I've got on them and get out there and learn more for yaself.
Friday, January 16, 2009
c/o Carmine P. Filthy & Low Life Inc
Koko Dozo are the cosmic cousins of Georgio Moroder and Parliment. Amy Douglas' vocals are deep and soulful yet punk and jazzy all at the same time. Douglas does not suffer from the too often used R&B tones of many a 'deep house' record.The songs of Koko Dozo, produced by Polarity 1, are familiar in just the right ways. We feel it's best descirbed as Stomp-Funk Space-Disco for the sect who are tired of the same overused 'electro' tinged strut numbers and the slow shuffle of the 'bearded disco' that floods the mirror ball soundscape these days.Koko Dozo have been recently featured by Paper Magazine, New York promotional tastemakers- GBH and in Februaray the world will be able to hear 'Boomchi' soundtrack the The L Word. They also performed at the one year anniversary of Brooklyn's Crooked Disco party this past Halloween and can be seen often throughout the entire Big Apple.We suggest you give them a listen, especially if you need some alien boogaloo in your life to get through these cold months.Here's three tracks for you to give a listen to and download via our friends at SoundCloud: 'Boomchi' and 'Face On The Dance Floor' are both featured on their debut album 'Illegal Space Aliens' available via subTEKst Records. 'Spaceman' is a new joint the group has whipped up.
jan 21, 09
That's right you guys. Interplanetary dance/funk/booty duo Koko Dozo are playing a special show this Saturday at Mr. Black here in New York City, breaking out the jams and hoping to get some "Face On The Dancefloor" as belter Amy Douglas will celebrate another year on this, the third planet from the sun. The group terrorizes the usual definition of "disco" with incessant, out-of-this-world beats and Amy's too-sophisticated-for-the-uneducated four octaves voice. This show is seriously recommended for anyone ready to sweat to poppy tunes and have their face muscles hurting on Sunday morning from too much smiling.
Speaking of new artists my friends over at Low Life Inc. have a dropped a very funky number on me. It's from NYC based duo Koko Dozo and it's guaranteed to get any party started. I really want to see these kids live. Enjoy.
Holy poop, B-52's reincarnated. Nevermind that they're still around. This thing I'm used to hear in early 90's to some intro to some crazy tv-show. How do you start making this kind of music? Seriously! Funk, boogie, soul, electro, space-thingy.I'm impressed. And I want to put on a funny hat and pretend I'm E.T. or something.You can really hear that Koko Dozo are insane. In a good way.
December 15, 2008
If you read Paper Magazine, or watch The L Word, you might have noticed that Koko Dozo is finally getting some notice around here. We're sure our review had plenty to do with it, but this might also have something to do with it. "Spaceman" is a bumping, effects-filled immigrants' anthem that Amy Douglas goes crazy over. And by crazy, we mean cuh-huh-huh-huh-raaaaaaaayyyayayayaay-ZAYYYYYYYYUuuuuhhh.
Posted Dec. 3, 2008
The latest ear candy on my iTunes is Koko Dozo, a "post-disco" duo (Amy Douglas and Polarity/1), whose shake-your-ass, funky single "Boomchi" will be on The L Word this February. I can't stop listening to Koko Dozo's tunes, like "Face On The Dancefloor" and "Spaceman." Thankfully, the duo is just as tripped out as their music. When I asked where their name came from, this is what they told me: "Koko Dozo is the name of our planet where we come from. If you go to www.kokodozo.com you'll see a link for Space Alien Nation where you can read the news from our wild and funky planet. Polarity/1 and I are on the lam from the Powers that Be, and have decided to bring our brand of Post-Disco and Spacefunk to Earth." Beam me up Koko Dozo!
Koko Dozo. Amy Douglas, Polarity/1 y Rubio se anuncian como un tro de alenes ilegales que practican la Funktronica Global (toma ya!). Eso consiste, ms o menos, en ser un bailongo del funk independiente neoyorquino capaz de mezclar de todo para hacer bailar a la gente. Influencias? Segn ellos, de Black Sabbath a Bjrk, de Frank Zappa a Goldfrapp, de Stevie Wonder a John Cage, de Joan Manuel Serrat al groove, las voces africanas o el clubbing. En fin, un autntico sumidero interestelar de sonidos. Canciones como Shine suenan a chica de Ipanema pasada por un filtro Kraftwerk con un toque Brian Eno. Y otras, como Boomchi, entre su ritmo demoledor y su letra desopilante, son con las que te gustara sorprender a tus amigos en una fiesta. [Rubn A. Arribas]
Posted In: futuristic rock, new music. By Sheena Beaston, May 19 2008
Warning: overtly cheesy/standard space themed title for a post.
DEAL! Cause I'm about to lay some cochlear pleasures upon you that will rock you to the core.
Koko Dozo want to invade, probe, and prod every ounce of your earthly body with the sound of space that is so defyingly abstract whilst being ultimately palatable. That being said, I immediately fell in love with their sound.
To put it mildly, Koko Dozo are nonhuman. They're of an out of this world proportion that the general masses simply could not fathom amongst themselves. So what does KD do?
They bring the funky party to you!
Amy Douglas, Polarity/1 and Rubio are the talented trio that defines the space age sound. While P/1 provides the backbone of silky laced synth beats and tenacious electromorsels, Rubio maintains the spazzed out keying which mesh so well, launching the tunes into orbit.
And no alienesque incorporation would be complete without the faceshredding vocals of one, Amy D. Ranging in styles from brash baroque to futuristic funk, her golden pipes weave magic into the ears and souls of all who listen.
It's no secret (as I have no shame in mentioning it in almost every post I do) that I will back an act/song/style of music no matter who the artist or what the genre, so long as it gets my booty on the floor. Within a mere :05 seconds of throwing on Face on the Dancefloor, I knew my appreciation for Koko Dozo was firmly cemented.
With a hearty house beat, the track begins quite oddly enough, but stick with it, as it explodes with Douglas' vocals shortly thereafter. "You know you got that face... put your face on the dance floor...
"Don't mind if I do. .Koko Dozo's Illegal Space Aliens (released on subTEKst Records) can be ear-imbibed here.
If you missed Koko Dozo at their latest gig at Crash Mansion, I'm truly sorry for your loss. But good news! KD plays SOB's on a date TBD in the near future. Be sure to check back here for updates as they come in. (and as an early appeteaser...Sheena Beaston herself is brewing together a fiery night of music later in July, so stay tuned for lineups/details/etc...)
Mark Kirby (Associate Writer) 2008-05-13
One night several years ago at an Irish pub in the East Village of New York City, the discussion of music turned to disco. It involved musicians and people over 40 years-old, people who might know what they're talking about. Several of us were, in the heyday of Studio 54 and the disco era, into punk rock. Others of us were -- me especially -- strictly jazz heads. I reminded my friend of lonely nights in college smoking out of a four-foot bong and listening to Zappa and John Coltrane and wondering how to meet girls. They were at the campus disco parties, while we were above it all. And alone, getting in touch with ourselves.
Now a guy walked into the bar - no, this is not a joke, this is true - leans over and asks Nancy, the bartender, to put on a CD he brought. He had a box set called 100 Disco Hits and wanted to hear it. She put it on over a few protests and by the third cut half the bar was up dancing. "This shit is great, what were we thinkin'?" What were we thinking? The cuts that he played -- "Boogie Nights," "Disco Lady," "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" -- were all songs with soul power. Killer musicians, great singers, and songwriters that had some skills were at work on these gems. So many of the songs that turned off the young cynic back in the day -- and I was one of them -- now sound like musical versions of the politics of hope. Besides the quality of the music and the infusion of beer and liquor, these cuts stood out because the party music of today consists of desperate, vapid consumer fantasies "sung" over prepackaged, overly mechanized "music." From Justin Timberlake to Mariah Carey, this is what dance music is all about. Like rap agitators Public Enemy asked back in the '90's "who stole the soul?"
These memories and thoughts came to mind while listening to Koko Dozo's new CD Illegal Space Aliens. The band members present themselves as bizarro characters. Chief producer Polarity/1, who created the beats and sounds that make the backbone of the music, dresses like a pro wrestling manager who is channeling Sun Ra. Though using synthesizer sounds, drum machines, and synth bass, his music has a distinctive, organic quality, a certain freshness and vitality. Rubio -- the self-described "multi-brained, Viking, Satanic wizard"; complete with Viking helmet and wizardly robe -- provides funky, jazzy keyboards that flesh out and add spice and musicality to the grooves. Singer Amy Douglas, the "Inter-Galactic Empress," looks like a grown up Punky Brewster turned dominatrix from Brooklyn by way of worlds beyond. But for all the outer spaceness of their image and electronic sounds, the music on Illegal Space Aliens is rooted in the organic soil of the disco, funk and soul of a bygone era.
The CD starts with dense electronic sounds that morph into a groove consisting of bass, a looped piano chord, and a beat made of these dense sounds, on the opening cut "Second Time." Amy Douglas brings flesh and soul to this cyborg of a song. With musical experience covering punk cabaret, funk with George Clinton and down-home jazz with Illinois Jacquet, she has the pipes. She also has the musicality and taste to do it just right. "Face on the Dance Floor" starts with disembodied female voices and a vocal loop of laughs. A house beat kicks in and Douglas busts out with a Donna Summers-like vocal blast: "You know you got that face... put your face on the dance floor / wave your feet in the air / make us believe that you don't care / smash your face on the dance floor / put your kicks in the air / wave it some more / put your fuckin' face on the dance floor." The song grooves along with interesting musical riffs and keyboard counter melodies, as Douglas goes off. The backup group female voices come back and the song's next verse comes in. These little touches elevate this and other songs on the CD above average, boring house and dance music. You can dig this music without drugs or dancing.
Some of the album's cuts resemble the classic disco of the '70's and '80's. "Boomchi" has that signature four-on-the-floor drum beat, offbeat funk bass lick, and soulful strings. The vocals come in like Chic's classic "Good Times." Busting out in Spanish, Douglas lets fly some wailing diva vocal blasts. The song's break down features bass drum, breathy, chanting vocals, and an over-the-top spew in Spanglish by Rubio. Euro disco brought in the dominance of synthesizers and more mechanical rhythms. "Shine" is in this mold, but the piano licks and, once again, Douglas' voice gives the song a human face: "Shine a light / I need to know that I'm alive / Shine a light / guide me to your secret side / give me breath that can revive.
Koko Dozo mines other types of music, particularly the expansive side of soul and funk, on the slow jam "Down." This features sweet lead and backup vocals, as well as chords that move and glide in an extended middle part that seems to drift away. Then, from silence, the song starts up with vocals that remind one of soul diva's like Chaka Khan. "D.C. Whore" combines political satire and discordant, complex funk. "Fulano de Tai" is dirge-like, with music that evokes the image of an emotional desert and recalls one of Ennio Morricone's more psychedelic soundtracks.
One of the strengths of Illegal Space Aliens, and my regular readers please forgive me, is that there are nine choice cuts on this record. No fluff, just a statement. This should be the new trend. This should also be an example of how to make dance music that is intelligent and cool, not dumbed down to the level of morons in too-tight $90 designer jeans.
Koko Dozo: Illegal Space Aliens released on subTEKst Records
reviewed by Gaspar Oliveira for GBH.tv.
As anybody who lives in a city knows, melting pots are always a mess. There's plenty of bad that comes with cultures and backgrounds being crammed together in a tiny space: people get pissed off at one another, tensions sometimes arise, and that romanticized harmony never quite rounds into form. But when it's time to party, it's pretty easy to get close enough to ignore the problems.
The New York trio Koko Dozo strives for that party-time closeness, and their debut album Illegal Space Aliens definitely gets close enough. Every New York sound imaginable is crammed into Illegal Space Aliens' nine songs, from the city's camera clicks and metallic clanks to the clubs' salsa, house, r&b, techno, funk, and hip-hop. That might seem like a dangerously long list, but the band's got the musical experience to highlight how closely related they are. The shuffling, clattering percussion on album opener "Second Time" might sound very different from the disco whoomp of "Boomchi," but the evocative keyboard chords in the former and the swirling (fake) strings in the latter show the songs come from the same family. Even elements that see the band wandering further out, like the blown out techno-inspired drums on "Kokodozonomics" or the restless piano improvisations on "Fulano de Tal," feel more and more at home once you get to know them.
And if you need any additional incentive to keep coming back to Illegal Space Aliens, look no further than the vocals. Lead singer Amy Douglas doesn't always have the perfect lyrics to sing (probably the most iffy aspect of this record), but she's got a voice that can do anything. She's got four octaves at her disposal, and she uses them to sass ("Face on the Dancefloor"), emote ("Down") and just plain belt; her emotional coloring's right in step with the music backing her, even when the music's a little silly. Koko Dozo's music is a little involved by clubland standards, and as such it's understandable that they only play the occasional gig. But New Yorkers looking for music that embraces their city's cultural diversity ought to check them out. The best way to survive in a melting pot is to get close.
FRIDAY, MARCH 7, 2008
As part of our public service mission, we like to keep you informed on the hottest acts that entertain the elite masses. So who is tearing up the underground scene right now? Apparently it's Koko Dozo - who promoted their fledgling act by telling us:
“Our debut self-release "Illegal Space Aliens" dropped last Saturday and our release party at Nacotheque, the insanely crazy Latino-Electro party which is making waves in NYC and all over the world, was out of control, a room packed with sweaty hot dancing bodies... Since then, on the merit of that buzz alone, we've booked two of the biggest underground parties in NYC, Rated X- The Panty Party at Don Hills and Roxy Cottontails's Heartbeat at Le Royale”
That certainly sounds hot. And unique. Just look at that picture, you know they got something going on that's just got to be authentic. You go Koko Dozo. Go!
We’re sure most of you have a place in your heart for that classic New York house rashness, and we’re just as sure most of you have never heard a band put it to use in well-crafted songs like this one. The purveyors, Koko Dozo, just had an album release party at Nacotheque, and you are < if you missed it. That means less than.