By Jasper Gape
April 13, 2010
Koko Dozo is the best band EVA....okay best post disco band in my humble opinion because they exude the sweat and retro-ness of a purist disco band that your folks had the honor of enjoying while you were stuck at home with that one hot Latina babysitter that had to change your dirty diapers.
As strange as that analogy is, we felt in love with Koko Dozo the minute we heard 'Gangsta', a song about the adopted tough culture that is now ingrained into this generation's psyche.
Wow talk about an in-depth interview as Koko Dozo sure did deliver on the goods with this interview as we got to talk to Amy D and Polarity/1 about Disco, New York, Influences and feeling the Zuzz.Hey guys thanks for talking to us here at Nerdy Frames, and thank you for being fans of our blog. So lets ask the both of you how it all began for Koko Dozo, how did you meet up and became this phenomenal band?POLARITY/1:
I think 'how it all began" and "how we became this..." are two totally different questions. We met through our friend, Rubio. We each had side projects with him and he thought we'd make a great team. We recorded our first album, Illegal Space Aliens
, with him. Then he moved to Bogota and we became a duo. Our music is like it is because we've spent lots o' years being musicians playing zillions of types of music cause we're into a strangely wide variety of species. And we spend a crazy amount of time drafting our stuff.AMY D:
I used to have a wacky all female rock vaudeville revue, and had been working the aforementioned Rubio on it. He and Polarity/1 had been working on a project called Audioplasm
(great stuff, btw...check that out), and one day Rubio basically said we should all hook up and do something. Polarity/1 and I really connected musically in a profoundly push/pull way.
We all share the same influences, but Polarity 1 forces me to think less like a traditional pop writer and expand into areas I dont normally get an opportunity to, and I think I take what is a very avant garde cum Brazilian/Latin Groove Based side of him, and carve some pop structure into his amazing soundscapes. When Rubio moved to South America, and Polarity/1 and I continued our musical exploration. We all still work on stuff with each other, in fact Rubio and I are doing a side project, but Koko Dozo is ultimately Polarity/1 and myself at this point.Stupid clich question time, where did you get the name of Koko Dozo? It sounds like a funky alien name that you were baptized with.POLARITY/1:
Amy said an old friend came up with 'koko dozo' and wasn't using it. I immediately felt it was right because it sounded so good -- just an ear-licking sound with no meanings if you don't speak Japanese.AMY D:
I am in love with words or sounds that sound like they mean something, but ultimately mean nothing. Im sure Koko Dozo might mean something, incorrect at that, in Japanese or another Asian Dialect, but the truth is, I just liked the way the words sounded together. I had an ex that was playing around in those phonic ideas, and I loved them. Once he got booted from my life, the name stuck. When I met Polarity/1, and the sound of our music began to emerge, suddenly that wordplay bolted forward from a dormant corner of my brain.
How would you describe the relationship between fellow band members even though its just the 2 of you?POLARITY/1:
I'd describe it as a duality. We slap each other's back and have mind-fucking fun making noises and laughing on the floor drooling when we listen back to this stuff and we have stupid meltdowns and get over it.Amy D:
If Thomas Edison is famous for quoting that success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration I'd say that its the flip side of that here, its 90% inspiration and 10% perspiration. The perspiration only really comes out when we hit a wall, or have to make certain decisions both in business, and the music. I'd describe it as mentally provocative, always challenging, and the most healthy form of Gestalt Therapy you can have. I love that Koko Dozo has kept me constantly challenged. It's really necessary for growth, and its like a garden that can keep growing.Now a lot of fresh music tasting minds are reading this, so tell us something about yourselves that the blogging world should know?Amy D:
Personally speaking? I love bulldogs, I wish I lived in London, Koko Dozo really really would be happy with a lot of time across the pond, I think London audiences would really eat Koko Dozo up. Were exactly what you NEED. I am addicted to things that sparkle, I was weaned on a steady diet growing up on Soul Train, Motown, Beatles and 70s television. Led Zeppelin is my favorite band of all time, and part of the reason I strive to succeed is so that one day Jimmy Page will call me on the phone.POLARITY/1:
I eat all of my vegetables and say lots of dirty words. My creative life is surreal and my dream life is banal.Describe the sound to our readers that are not familiar with it? My only interpretation from the music you gave me to review I would say is that its funky fried disco that moms use to dance to.AMY D:
LOL! It's funny, Koko Dozo's origins and intents were to just find ways to guild the lily of what groove music meant. We call our sound Post Disco to best give our audience a less confined description of what that really means. Polarity/1 is a most unique producer, his sound is completely original. This is because he's someone who spent a good amount of his musical career deeply immersed in Brazilian music, and samba, and he's an electronica producer, and this produces a most unique tropical bird to see! When these worlds mesh and collide, ironically you get wonderful disco rhythms out of it, but you get them from perhaps as less contrived and fresher angle.
In Koko Dozo I, more so even than Polar, am the Disco Fan. I really love Disco Records. I even love some of the really bad cheesy records, just cause of how they are arranged. In addition, as a little girl growing up in the 1970s, the women of the 1970s from Disco to Rock were like visual goddess icons to me and still are. Disco was incredibly influential on me as a vocalist and arranger, and I'd argue that the two people who made me want to be an arranger most were Gil Evans and Giorgio Moroder, so Donna Summer albums were like religion to me growing up. I think Giorgio Moroder was an amazing arranger.
One of the reasons I like working so much with Polarity/1 is I think were both arranger junkies. Like for real? I can get into a hot lather talking about the great arrangers and arranger/producers like Quincy Jones and Gil Evans and George Martin, and the list goes on to Issac Hayes and so many others. I love Fania All Star records because of how they're arranged. Hell, I love LATIN music because of how its arranged! LOL. That said I am far more the lover of disco records for disco's sake. Polar is just so inherently groove focused, that I think he chooses to just strip down to grooves butt nakedness and then give it a very modern coat of topgloss. Cool huh?Id say that Koko Dozo is unintentional disco. That the same Mama who used to dress up in hot pants and platforms is gonna git down on it all the same as she would do so to a Chic record, is just that much more of a compliment.POLARITY/1:
I would say that it's dropped-on-the-floor deep fried latkes that my Litvak grandma serves to Moses and Lenny Bruce -- her recipes are always unique and groundbreaking. We call Koko Dozo Global Funktronica, Post-Disco, Post-Pop, Global Urban Groove, Groove-Dance, Kid Music for Grownups. My job is making the tracks. Amy can sing in any style and in any character so that gives me lots of room to goof around and lots of places to go with lyrics. I'm schooled in African-based polyrhythm science and all my tracks are built with a very traditional system even though they don't sound that way. And I use genre as an arrangement and groove-making tool so each song is it own genre hybrid. Each song on Feel The ZUZZ! has it's own ID.Tell us about being from New York? No doubt you had a lot culturally and musically at your disposal.POLARITY/1:
That's it -- every culture at our disposal. I see myself as a combination of self-loving Jew (a non-theological type) and a guy who grew up constantly listening to New York radio since post-infancy. Non-orthodox diaspora Jews have in our DNA the instinct to see the world as a cultural supermarket where we grab attractive ideas from everywhere and make it part of ourselves. That's the upside of having no home for two thousand years.AMY D:
I think its really crucial to say that Koko Dozo and its music is is a pure New York thing. Once upon a time, New York Music was a term, that was evocative of everything from Duke Ellington, to Chic, to Fania All Stars to The Ramones.
It meant something if you were a musician in New York, and Koko Dozos music is like a diorama if you will of what that means. Both Polarity/1 and I grew up in and around NYC, and we love to hold that tradition to heart. Thats why Koko Dozo's music is this amalgamation of Brazilian Rhythms, Salsa, Disco, and other New York Urban Music. Regretfully, I think New York has allowed itself to forget what that means over the last 15 years or so, but we don't want to allow it to die. I recently moved from Downtown Manhattan to Somerville, Mass, but I am a core Noo Yawker. Its as much a part of me as my eyelashes.If there were 5 things that you hold dear about The Big Apple, what would it be?POLARITY/1:
The grid layout of the streets, the multi-, the intelligence, the Everything crammed into a single city-sized room.AMY D:
Oh boy...tearful moment, because regretfully for me many of those things are gone now. So some of these are extinct, but Ill always hold them dear to my chest. Here goes though:
Sundays in the Summer along Riverside Park, when some of the best bachata and cumbia bands would play, the street food would be amazing and everyone would just be collectively loving life.
The Village Gate- now Le Poisson Rouge. As LPR its just lovely. But the Gate was an institution and a place where jazz lived in heart and soul. Some of the best recordings came from the Gate.
Katzs Deli. So help me fuckin God, if they succumb to the NYC landlords and close, I am going to scream til they hear me in Singapore.
Sunday Matinees at CBGBs.
Little West 12th StreetIn your guys opinion, what is it about New York and its music scene? I mean god, you gave us some many things to aspire to like Disco and Paradise Garage.POLARITY/1:
New York is a mini-version of the whole planet. Every language, every kind of intelligence and food and every kind of music. And there's a constant barrage of noise from every type of human and car alarm and every type of power tool used on construction sites which are everywhere. So musicians with curious ears, ADD and chops will wind up doing some pretty strange shit.AMY D:
Sigh. It's true. New York City was once truly the epicenter of the universe musically, from The Brill Building to 52nd Street to the Greenwich Village of the late 50s and 60s, and its funny, mostly because it's so different now, but when we collectively think, certainly when I think, of New York's Music Scene in the heyday when there really was a very potent and diverse scene, I think that New York City music transports its listeners into a fantasy.
Whether you were going to the Cotton Club in the 20s and 30s or CBGBs in the 70s, or you were going to Paradise Garage or Danceteria, this is all about escapism. If San Francisco's message was to lose yourself in psychedelic exploration and inhale the music as its purest form, New York city music was all about losing yourself in the glamour and the romance of the glamour.
It's the movie. As for Disco, well what music could better describe what it means to live out your fantasy and let go of your body? Disco brought the screen goddesses and gods down off the celluloid and allowed your next door neighbor to try on their Jean Harlow and Cary Grant for size and see what it was like. It's funny, how Disco for some reason opened up a lot of straight people in some ways more than the hippie revolution did! It seemed like you were living the life of a glamorous movie star, out loud on a dance floor, and the beat became the ultimate symbol of hedonism. I think that NYC musicians also tended to have this cross cultural thing because of that melting pot thing. I always say, New York musicians are unified, no matter what they play genre-wise, in their collective love of hip hop, Salsa, and Chic. You could be in a blistering punk band and love Chic. You could be playing in a Salsa unit with Willie Colon and think Nas is fuckin awesome.
We all dig that stuff. I also think being New York Musicians means having a very profound understanding of the different spectrum's of what makes something art. All the bands from NYC bring a sense of art with them, a sense of it being about something more than just the thing in front of your face. August Darnell is a great example of this concept, in that a group like Kid Creole and the Coconuts or the Dr Savannah Buzzard Band, could have ONLY come from NYC, cause there is still something of the art concept with them. New York music, when its good, transports you to a different place, and in my opinion it only fails when it loses that spirit. Be it of high art, and great precision or something as rudimentary yet genius as The Ramones, it's got to have that spirit to be New York City Music. I'm not sure it still is around today, sadly, but thats the imprint my brain wont let go of.
How much Diva is in Amy D?POLARITY/1:
Did you notice the 'D' in Amy D?AMY D:
Oh my stars. I think those close to me know by now that any diva in Amy D lives mostly onstage. I'm far too nerdy offstage to really cultivate the ultimate diva persona. That and I like people too much. I do have a penchant for glitter and glam, and I know that any other strain of a diva persona might come across strictly in how I like to present myself visually.
But the whole bitch I wear white every day and throw it out at the end of the day, and I sleep on 1,000,000 count thread sheets and if there isn't a bowl of green M+Ms waiting for me everywhere I sing thing? NAH! I don't live in a self absorbed bubble expecting the world to paint my toenails.Amy D..where did you get that power voice? I mean damn girl were you born with it?AMY D:
LOL! Thank you very much. I got lucky. I remember Ann Wilson of Heart, who is another huge influence on me ( I have a long list of heroes) once saying that when she opened her mouth and her voice came out she felt like she hit pay-dirt in her soul. I feel exactly the same way.
I discovered I could sing when I was very very young, and I was also lucky to have been brought up in a household where the music featured a lot of great singers. I had great teachers on vinyl to show me the way stylistically from Chaka Khan to Robert Plant to Sarah Vaughan, and just so many others. My Mom and my Grandmother were really heavy into AMAZING singers. I'd wake up and Aretha would be on, and then I'd go visit Grandma and shed play me Patsy Cline and Lily Pons records. The message of female vocalists are awesome was hammered home a lot, and fortunately I was given the ability to apply the teachings of those masters.I didn't know if this question was applicable to ya, but can you tell us about your studio setup that Koko DoZo uses on an everyday basis? Are you encompassing an all digital or are there parts of analog that you can't do without?POLARITY/1: Feel The ZUZZ!
and our first album, Illegal Space Aliens
, were made in my studio. Some of the vocals on ZUZZ! were tracked at Amy's new place in Boston.
The tracks are made with funny noises I find and keyboard into Logic (Apple software). And midi synths. I never quantize parts. The grooves have to breathe like the living organisms they are. I make editing adjustments by hand (as opposed to by algorithm). Most tracks have live playing too -- I might play guitar, hand drums & percussion or sometimes blues harp or trumpet (not trumpet yet for Koko Dozo).What is the process that Koko Dozo adopt when writing new music? Do you work with themes, philosophies, favorite books or something you seen on TV or moviesĶetc?AMY D:
Our process is unorthodox. As individual songwriters, we have completely different ways of working. I like to work analog. I get up, brush my teeth, pour coffee sit down at a piano, and see what comes. I then write. Then I get some production ideas. Then I bring those ideas to Polar. Polar, on the other hand, uses the studio as an instrument, and therefore his vision is to create soundscapes and then direct much like a movie director what he wants happening over these musical dioramas. So we work with both styles!
Id say that the majority of the time, he's been banging away on an amazing piece of groove, and I hear it and start singing, then we work on lyrics. Then again, sometimes we've done things from the ground up in house. We never really work on anything uniquely the same way, and I like that. As a vocalist and writer, it keeps me on my toes, and forces me to have to use other parts of my brain. That said, I think we are both HUGELY inspired by a lot of the same themes. Certainly the entire platform of our message and brand is the space thing. And while we just love dressing kooky the reason for this was to hammer home the message of the outsider or the person in a perpetual state of discovery. We are also, not just a wee, very politically angry people. We are very unnerved by what has happened to our country, and we were both not more than a little disgruntled with what happened to New York City. So we get inspired by the news a lot.POLARITY/1:
We have very different ways of starting our day. I brush my teeth before I wake up, pour my coffee onto my macPro, replace the motherboard that gets toasted by the spilled coffee, boot up, get some coffee and drink it, and then start and banging out killer grooves. It's not a very efficient work method but it allows for some quality procrastination.
We don't have a system for writing our songs. They might start from a track I've been working on or an idea that one of us has for lyrics. Sometimes Amy brings in a melody with chord changes. Since Amy can sing in so many styles and attitudes, I can come up with any type of groove or ideas for a character that inhabits the lyrics and she can nail it instantly. We both agree that the truth of everything lies in the ridiculous. So all that we do tends to be silly but with a serious subtext.Do you have a sense that Disco is slowly creeping back from the dead into this era after the dreadful July 12, 1979 Disco blacklash that mainstream America declared Disco to be well and dead?POLARITY/1:
Disco is definitely back and we're definitely forward so the time is right. What's most interesting to me is putting groove into dance music.AMY D:
Ah, that day. That homophobic, racist intolerant day. Komiskey Park. The Night Chicago REALLY Died. Truthfully, I think Disco NEVER REALLY WENT AWAY. Disco is just dance records. Whether you dress it up as any other thing, or call it by any other name, it is still move your booty to the beat music.
What the backlash was against was DISCO the BRAND. The marketing schematic. When the record industry discovered how to program its listener into being a leisure suit wearing zombie, and when they started to churn out the Disco Records like you could burp on beat, and it would sell, Disco as a term in quotes became a dirty word. But the Disco I know and love, is more about the RECORDINGS, and the vision that was The Loft Parties of David Mancuso and Larry Levan the culture from which Disco emerged.
When they blew up the records in Chicago and steamrolled over them, they were angry that theyd been conned and dumbed down to. That said I kinda wish they had exercised that level of vitriol towards people who really deserve it, like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, instead of people just making records, some of which were really great. I think Disco is rearing its head again as perhaps a full bore return is because weve had 10 solid years of hell and its time to have some FUN and MOVE again. I feel like music, electro in particular of late is taken from a very angry, raw, primal scream sort of sense and while that can be cathartic, its not FUN.Would it be an unfair comparison that you guys are like this generations version of Deee Lite? Yeah Im aware that the Legendary Diva Lady Kier is currently active singing and doing shows here and there.POLARITY/1:
I think it would be totally fair to compare us to anything. Everything. Deee Lite is nice.AMY D:
It is always a great compliment and honor when you are compared to artists you genuinely dig and respect. Deee Lite came along at a time when people were losing the fun and the soul that the human race tends to do every now and again. They served up the ultimate reminder to not let go of that spirit.
Lady Miss Kier is a legend, and a goddess, so when people say we remind them of Dee Lite, it's a nod of deep respect, especially in New York City where their legacy runs so deep. I would love to propose right here right now, in print a show in which we combine forces and throw a Disco party so intense, people's feet would just melt off. They'd be gittin down on their kneecaps.Who are your influences musically or otherwise?POLARITY/1:
I grew up on my dad's record collection and New York radio. So it was every style and era of rock, jazz, country, soul, funk, hip hop, gospel, stuff from Africa, Brasil and Latin America, Japan, India, Spain, mod classical.AMY D:
Oh Boy. Here we go. 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, Deee-Lite, Depeche Mode, Devo, Devo, Doc Boggs, Donna Summer, Duke Ellington, Earth Wind and Fire, Everything But The Girl, Fela, Fishbone, Frank Zappa, Fundo De Quintal, Gang of Four, Giorgio Moroder, Glenn Branca, Goldfrapp, Grace Jones, Grandmaster Flash, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Gregory Issacs, Hector Lavoe, Hugh Masekela, James Brown, James Chance and the Contortions, Janes Addiction, Joan Armatrading, Joan Manuel, Serrat, Joe Arroyo Johann, Sebastian Bach, John Cage, John Coltrane, Johnny Pacheco, Jon Hassell, Joni Mitchell, Joy Division, Kid Creole and the Coconuts, King Crimson, Kinky, Kraftwerk, KRS- One, La Lupe, Led Zeppelin, Los Amigos Invisibles, Marvin Gaye, MIA, Miles Davis, Mongo Santamaria, Morcheeba, Muddy Waters, Nick Drake, Nusrat Fateh, Ali Khan, Ozomatli, Paquito DRivera, Parliament, Funkadelic, Peter Gabriel, Pharoah Sanders, Pink Floyd, Portishead, Prince, Public Enemy, Quincy Jones, Richard Smallwood, Roxy Music, Roy Ayers, Sade, Salif Keita, Santogold, Sidsel Endresen, Sister Nancy, Slave, Sonic Youth, Soulwax, Spankrock, Staple Singers, Steely Dan,,Steve Reich, Stevie Wonder, Tears For Fears, The Beatles, The Dead 60s, The Jazz Messengers, The Jazz Passengers, The Orb, Thelonius Monk, Timbalada, Timbaland/Missy Elliott, Tito Puente, Tricky, Van Halen, Wilfrido Vargas, Willie Colon, XTC, Yes, and Zero 7.
I am also very influenced by Glam Rock Style, and old Dietrich Films.What Bands/Albums/groups/etc that you grew up listening to back in the day?AMY D:
Well the fundamentals of my life involve The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Elton John and Led Zeppelin. I grew up listening essentially to rock, jazz, soul and R+B, and funk. My folks loved Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66, and this is a good angle that came in handy once I met Polarity/1 for sure. I got heavily into World Music in High School, and the truth is, I am influenced by everything from Black Sabbath to Donna Summer and its all inside me. My love of the great song, leans me towards the Gods of song in addition such as Cole Porter, Bachrach and David, and every single giant of the Brill Building. Im a pop song junkie.POLARITY/1:
James Brown, P Funk, Chic, Led Zep, Zappa, Beatles, '50s Elvis, Lieber & Stoller, Paul Simon, Mickey Katz, Joni Mitchell, Mingus, Coltrane, Sun Ra, Django Reinhardt, Sam Cooke, gospel era Staples Singers, Soul Stirrers, Gospel Keynotes, Burt Bacharach, Muddy Waters, Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Kokani Orkestrar, Doc Boggs, George Jones, Hank Williams, Dylan, Tribe Called Quest, J-Live, Missy Elliot, Timbaland, Major Lazer, Buraka Som Sistema, Lupe Fiasco, Frank Zappa, Django Reingardt, Willie Colon, samba, Jobim, trad drumming, Olatunji, Oumou Sangere, Steve Reich, pre-Columbia Philip Glass, trad flamenco, Bulgarian Womens Choir, classical Japanese, Stockhausen.Lets talk about your brand new EP Feel the Zuzz! How long did it take you to write and produce this fantastic EP? We gave it our gold seal of Nerdy approval ya know.AMY D:
For which, we are really super grateful, humbled and thankful!! A gold seal from y'all is the real litmus test because there isn't a single interview or shout out on NF that hasn't been quality and in fact really helpful when you want to spread out and check out other electronic based music. It's an amazing blog. Feel The Zuzz!
believe it or not, started just as Illegal Space Aliens
the single from that LP was picked up for the final season of The L Word and we were on a writing TEAR! Id say that by the time we had done a full and very widely varied LP of our sound, we wanted to focus in more on doing pure groove dance beat driven music, and we were gonna take it to the mountain. Feel The Zuzz!
from soup to nuts probably took bout 5 months in terms of its finishing touches.POLARITY/1:
It was nerds that made it. So we assumed you'd approve. Two of the songs were done awhile ago and three started last year and finished this year. Most of last year we're weren't working because Amy was relocating to Boston. It's hard to say how long it takes for us to make a song. Often there are scraps of things lying around that get popped into a new idea. Amy's vocals happen in an hour more or less. Collaborating on lyrics can take an hour or a few days. I obsess for weeks on each track. We work our fingers to the bone for you.What has been the initial reaction to Feel the Zuzz! from media outlets and Fans?POLARITY/1:
100% poz. And the best thing is that everybody has a different fave track or pair o' tracks.AMY D:
At the risk of having a Sally Field moment they LIKE US...THEY REALLY LIKE US! This EP is being very positively received and its making us completely Zuzzed!My favorite song from the EP is Gangsta which sounds like a brow beat down to all those wannabe tough guys orĶ.um touch ass girls. What do ya think?POLARITY/1:
That's what it am. Posing instead of being. For me it's a lot about some kids at my kid's school and in the all-kids samba school I was running with a friend a few years ago. All these middle- & upper middle class kids being ghetto for Halloween till they go off to college. There was an angle they weren't connecting with.AMY D:
You aren't far off the mark. I was getting really sick of current culture, which is like anger as glamor. I was getting pissed off at this faux were so hard anger that a lot of the music and art was dictating, and how really ridiculous the whole thing was.
You'd go in a club and some DJ would be spinning music that was anti groove and sounded like music to rile up gorillas by playing were taking your banana away from you music. Nothing could be sexy anymore, everything had to be ironic and stripped down to the point of....it's all bout the sound of something instead of the full on craft process, so I felt a beat down song was in order. In addition, without naming names, there was a certain DJ/promoter personality who was giving us the run around and acting like he was the greatest thing since cooked food, so I wanted to write him a little go fuck yourself note. Jim Croce was trying to say he loved you in a song? Well I was trying to say go fuck yourself, and learn to do something useful with your life...like professional nose picking. Or as Iggy Pop used to say why don't you read a book and go flunk a test motherfucker!Do any of you have a favorite song on the EP that you truly dug that you can recommend to our readers?AMY D:
Oh GOSH DARNS! Wow. That's like saying, which finger on your hand do you like the best?? I won't play favorites, but when I'm alone, I find myself personally gravitating towards Lay That Body Down
. That song really revvs me up, and I love its message.POLARITY/1:
There are five that I'd particularly recommend. Spaceman
is a tone poem about galactic alienation with a big beat. Lay That Body Down
presents a cogent argument for fucking accompanied by a sizzling funk-reggaeton. Gangsta
is an electroGrease stain with a message. Grab Ya
is a space-travelogue by way of NYC and Brasil. Bastards In Bazbador
is fake complaining in a tub full of squeak-funk. Bazbador
, by the way, is located in the Velfin Spoidioyz galaxy. You have to read SPACE ALIEN NATION.
This is a long fuckin interview. What are you... a journalist?Off the record from the EP, what can you tell us about Boomchi? Amy I didnt know you were fluent in Spanish?AMY D:
Boomchi, was written by Rubio (aforementioned former third member) and I one sunny afternoon in my old apartment in New York on Mexican Hot Chocolate and some weed.
I think we wrote it in 5 minutes! I, speak Spanish but I'm certainly not fluent, but Rubio most definitely is. Our idea was to write a song, that makes fun of the bad dance music. We both recently had experiences in clubs where the DJ was playing incessant 2 and 4 Boomchi
beats and giving NO change up and we realized how robotic that can make you. So we decided what would happen if you could like...Manchurian Candidate Brainwash someone by using the Boomchi beat into doing....bad things??? Mwuh hahahahaha! It was Rubio's idea to put it in Spanish, and we vowed NEVER to do an English version to force people to have to learn a lil something to translate it. It is also the only song that Koko Dozo did that Rubio produced. When it blew up in the clubs and then on L Word, well...we were shocked and overjoyed!
From there Amylulita and Marcello the Nacotheque DJs started playing it and the next thing we knew...Koko Dozo was playing our first show at Nacotheque which is a party in New York City that focuses on Latino focused Electro and Disco. At present Rubio and I are working on a side project that is going to be like where Boomchi left off, and then traveled to a Latin American city where club goers exist on a steady diet of absinthe, Italo Disco and Tones On Tail. It's sounding amazing.POLARITY/1:
Our former member, Rubio, is an alien Latin American. He wrote it with Amy in the form of classic disco. I added spluttering percussive vocal noises. We've done a song in Portuguese (Fulano de Tal
on our first album). And another song in Spanish. That global thing.And that same song Boomchi made it into an episode of The L Word. Is Koko Dozo penetrating the mainstream with its spaced out post disco grooves?POLARITY/1:
Yes indeedie. When D.C. Whore
(from our first album) gets sung on American Idol I'll know for certain that we've penetrated.How many live shows have you done in the last 2 years and what have been the weirdest costumes youve worn onstage?POLARITY/1:
I just throw on whatever old spacesuits are laying around in the closet.AMY D:
We've done roughly 15 shows in the last 2 years. Always at parties whenever possible. I can't say what the wildest thing weve worn on stage is, because you see...these are not costumes. We really do look like this, us Bazbadorans! The look is pretty much derisive of a pure Bazbadoran thrift store look. On our home planet every Friday they come to collect the trash and it's at this point in time that the real fashionistas and fashionistos of our planet make entire ensembles out of the remains of bits and odds and sods we find on the street.Is there a certain spark of energy or aura that is felt when someone new to your sound checks out your live shows?POLARITY/1:
Actually it does get pretty tingly when people seem to be really getting what we're up to. You have to dance in new ways.AMY D:
Oh yes! Its ranged from everything from prolonged screaming in ecstasy to slack jawed open mouth stares of disbelief.What has been the craziest or memorable live show that youve played to date?POLARITY/1:
I think the Tubway gig -- Mr. Black's Black To The Future III -- was the hottest. The sweatiest, most packed-in crowd. And in a photo of the set there was a view of the people on the floor. A bunch of people were right in front of the stage waving their hands; but there was one guy who was waving his feet in the air. Actually it never occurred to me till just now -- it must have been while we were playing Face On The Dancefloor
which gives explicit directions to "throw your feet in the air."AMY D:
Tubway. No doubt. The Tubway show last year was incredible. DJ Nita Aviance and Roze Black and Gant Johnson turned the crowd up to 11 that night and by the time we hit the stage, you could see sweat dancing through the air when the lights would shine on it. The crowd came amped up and ready to dance. We gave them all we could handle. Someone grabbed my ass so hard on my way out the door I had a bruise on my left ass cheek for a month.So whats in the pipeline for Koko Dozo for the next month or so, more shows, working on new tunes, a possible tour, a certain side project (hint, hint)Ķetc?POLARITY/1:
All of. We have a gig on April 20 at the Union Square Lounge. We're concentrating on moving Feel The ZUZZ!
into the world. There will definitely be new toons and remixes. Amy has some side projects and I do too. just finished doing music for Danny Schechters new film, Plunder
, a feature-length doc about the financial scumbaggery that led to our mini-Great Depression. I've done the music for Danny's last four films.
Out of that will be an EP with songs from Plunder
and from Danny's last film, In Debt We Trust
, that predicted the mess three years before it happened. A new Polarity/1 EP, Free Money (But You Have To Pay)
will be available for free downloading to serve the cause. Another Polarity/1 album is in progress. Some of the songs feature Amy's vocals. P/1 collaborations to come: a series of dance tracks under the name BOI OI YOING and a instrumental collabs under the name GNAT KING KOL NIDRE. Next year I'll be scoring a full-length work for Quorum Ballet in Lisbon. I scored a piece for them in 2008 called The Other Side. AMY D:
Well, as far as Koko Dozo goes, were on a brand new label and so were concocting up intense schemes, and there is definitely going to be a conceptual video from us! A lot of our fans have written screaming you guys are a cartoon! Where is your video??? We can wait no longer, so the vids are coming. We are playing at Union Square Lounge in NYC on April 20th (how perfect is it that were playing on 4/20?), and from there, were gonna just...keep pushing this rock up the hill. We still have a long way to go.
Me personally, you know bout Discokaina already, which is like taking a rock/disco hybrid and taking it to its most degenerate extreme. Its as if Kisss I Was Made For Loving You is a musical jump off point for the project and its bi-lingual. I am also working on a HUGE amazing project called BAMela which is a trio of myself, Freekbass who is an AMAAAAAAAZING and very well known bassist who in addition to having huge success with his own band, does a trio with Steve Molitz of Particle and DJ Logic, and Tobe Donohue aka Tobotius who works with Bootsy Collinss Bootzilla Productions out of Cincinnati.
Tobe is quite possibly one of the greatest producers I have ever worked with and this project is going to be SO SICK its going to make you cry. This is funk, pop, rock, electro, new wave and just everything rolled into a huge power trio. Weve been working on the tracks since Feb and I just came back from a recent jaunt to the Queen City to record more tracks. We cant wait to get that baby out there too.Before we wrap up here, I would like to ask whats one thing that you know about NZ? What random factoid that you know about NZ?AMY D:
NZ is gorgeous and was where the Lord of the Rings Movies were filmed. Rightly so. Gorgeous place. The Natural Beauty is staggering.POLARITY/1:
New Zealand is a land of many wonders with its hot springs, beautiful geysers, ancient forest and towering mountain peaks. Its people are friendly, outgoing and always ready to lend a hand. This delightful nation of islands is a highly developed, stable parliamentary democracy. It has a modern economy, and tourist facilities are widely available. Most hotels will have shaver plugs suitable for all international appliances of low power rating, and which will supply 110 and 230 volts.Lastly any wise words to end on our interview Koko Dozo?AMY D:
Only that we are always grateful when we make fans, we are humbled that Nerdy Frames is receiving us this positively and that...you ain't seen NOTHING yet.POLARITY/1:
A Yiddish proverb: "Der mensch trakht un Gott lahkht" -- "People think, god laughs."Thanks alot guys.