Crossing the Gaza Strip of Sexxx Jams Chromeo is Pee Thug and Dave 1: best friends since their Montreal adolescence, virtuoso musicians, walking hip hop encyclopedias, and the only successful Arab/Jew partnership since the dawn of human culture.
As Chromeo, they fuse their penchants for two sorely missed musical genres into a wholly new thing. Pee, the brown-skinned Quebecois street tough, brings analog synth basslines and drum machine wizardry à la Cameo and Prince. Dave, the Semitic bookworm (currently earning his Ph.D. in French Lit at Columbia), contributes melodic tales of urban romance that would make Phil Collins shed a tear. Together, their blend of rigorously catchy song structures, memorable hooks and twirling guitar solos conjures up images of a sophisticated, thugged-out Hall & Oates (except you don't secretly suspect that they make out).
Indeed, Chromeo's mission is to make slick-ass lover's funk with nary a trace of irony. That's right - no fucking irony. These guys are to Rockwell what Andrew WK is to Meatloaf. And don't call it easy retro, either. Dave 1 attests: 'Sure our sound is vintage and danceable. Sure all our songs talk about girls. But we're so passionate about it that it's not even funny anymore.' Chromeo's authenticity is only reinforced by the goldplated list of musicians who have already supported them. They were discovered in their hometown by Tiga,
who immediately signed them to his Turbo Recording
imprint, and have recently been remixed by Trevor
Jackson and the DFA.
Live, Chromeo is more fun than being forced to smoke crack at gunpoint by Rick James. When was the last time you saw a talkbox used so well? Or even at all? Peter Frampton? Says Pee: 'When people see me using the talkbox live they're always impressed. It's not a machine like you hear in that Cher song. Imagine taking a speaker and putting it in your mouth, and then forcing the sound to come back out. It truly is a skill.'
Chromeo's debut LP, She's In Control, is out now on Vice Records (US), Turbo Recordings (Canada), V2 (Europe), and Modular People (Australia). The duo is now taking their live incarnation on the road. All this time, Dave has only had one specific ambition in mind for Chromeo.'I want to write sincere love songs, like 'Cool It Now' by New Edition,' he says. 'That is one of my all-time favorite tracks in the universe.'