Chris Bangs

Rare Groove ... acid jazz ... Bournemouth Bank Holidays ... hippy house ... dodgy bossas ... Talking Loud ... the Balearic beat - all influential sounds, scenes and styles that went off with a BANGS !

No doubt about it, Chris Bangs has been a pioneering and inspirational figure in the British underground dance scene of the 80s and 90s although, funnily enough, his first dabblings in the world of music were as a bedroom bass and lead guitarist out in the Surrey suburbs - fertile country, as it happens, for the then new breed of Brit-funkers. Chris, however, soon laid down the plectrum in favour of a pair of decks and a collection of eclectic music that helped to light up the burgeoning black music dance scene of the early eighties.

As the decade progressed, the Bangs name became associated with many of the era's most celebrated events - from his gigs in and around London like The Special Branch, Cock Happy and Doos At The Zoo to farther flung events including his own Bournemouth Bank Holiday sessions, the Caister, Prestatyn and Rockley Sands Weekenders and even the original Corfu and Ibiza 'summers of love'.

It was towards the end of the 80s, however, during the acid house boom, that Chris really hit pay dirt as a musical pace-setter with the birth of Acid Jazz - a comical handle used to describe the underground alternative. Yet, rather than being a throwaway phrase, it became the name for a whole genre and Chris, in his new role as producer/artist, was at it's forefront. Responsible for many of the early recordings on Eddie Piller's Acid Jazz label as well as Gilles Peterson's eventual spin off Talkin' Loud (producing Galliano's celebrated debut album), he quickly created a musical blueprint that drew on his wide-ranging taste and knowledge.His success, first in Britain, then internationally, enabled Chris to set up his own studio and production company, Thin Air. His talents were soon spotted outside of the acid jazz scene with Paul Weller utilising Chris's production skills. This liaison ultimately led to a partnership with Weller's former Style Council-er Mick Talbot as Soundscape - one of a whole range of projects marked by the Bangs stamp that have secured commercial and critical acclaim from as far-ranging territories as the USA, Japan, Italy and Australia.

Today, Chris can be found in his Thames Ditton studio surrounded by his records and a host of musical collaborators so don't be surprised if he's too busy to talk. Instead, try asking the aforementioned Piller, Weller, or Peterson as well as the likes of Oakenfold, Tong, Holloway, Rampling and many more for a genuine endorsement of one of our true pioneers.

Copyright 1999 Mark Webster

Chris Bangs is the former top UK soul/ jazz DJ, widely credited with the birth of Acid Jazz as a musical genre. He was one of the UK's original "Special Branch" DJ's along with Pete Tong, Paul Oakenfold, Giles Peterson and Bob Jones. He has written with Courtney Pine and produced Paul Weller, Roy Ayers and Galliano.

The Quiet Boys sophisticated new album "Dazzle" is released on writer/ producer Chris Bangs' label Thin Air Productions. It contains all the elements we have come to expect from the acid jazz aficionado plus one or two wonderful additions, including the vocal talents of Camelle Hinds.

Yada Yada - Subculture (2Kool)
Yada Yada - Piktures

Yada Yada - Fingalikkin' Good

(Thin Air Productions)

Characters like Chris Bangs and Mick Talbot never seem to go away, they just reappear in different guises. This time they materialise together to form the mysteriously named Yada Yada. At first hearing, it is vaguely reminiscent of the JTQ and other modern Hammond-led combos, but there is something more etherial going on. The effect is to create a sound that is musically full without being particularly invasive.




Chris Bangs is a Jack-of-all-trades and the grandmaster of Acid Jazz. Wellknown from his previous works like Yada Yada, Soundscape UK, Quiet Boys or The Chris Bangs Project his musical roots go much deeper. In the mid 1970s Chris was one of the fanatic guests often visiting the clubs of London and the home counties sucking in every note of disco and jazz funk music. Influenced by the legendary DJ Chris Hill and inspired by Paul Murphy Chris soon became a DJ himself starting his own gigs mixing jazz with Brazilian fusion, sambas and 'Dodgy Bossas'.

Mambo Madness was a collaboration with the DJ Gilles Peterson with many gigs in London and even Ibiza and Corfu. House was the announce music and a sub genre called 'Acid' was exploding onto the scene. The DJ's began to mix the old jazz samples of Blue Note's archive with House and Acid Jazz was created. 

Gill Peterson started his own label - Talking loud. Star of this label is undoubtly Incognito. Invited by Gill Chris produced the first Galliano album and even an album of Roy Ayers.

Takin' care of business is the first album released under Chris own name. We don't know which business Chris means with this title but by all means he means business.

Driving home - the starting act is a lax and funky tune featuring Nigel Wallace-Price on guitar in a superior George-Benson-alike style and the brilliant Dave 'Prizeguy' Priseman on trumpet. This the real tune driving home in a laid-back manner, but don't dream until you at home.

Takin' care of business, the title song, is the right grooving mixture of retro-organ, a touch of latin music, piano-runnings urging on backboned by an exellent brass section. 

Higher plane enlogates  the grooving mood calling back the philly-sound. Great the keyboard playing of Janette Mason.

A relaxing break is the follow-up warm weather featuring Rita Campbell' s attractive smooth voice and Andrew Ross's (of the Herbaliser - Ninja Tune) dreamy sax.

Funky bass and guitar introduce the really grooving f groove. Yamming on!!! This title let you jerk and searching the dance floor. It's a fantastic clubbing runner. 

Anew clapping retro-philly: you know how to love me with the vocals of Rita Campbell. A dancefloor-hit served by a professional engaged group.

Andrew Ross flute is the main-instrument in sundance paradise  accompanied by Nigel Wallace-Price's wonderful acoustic guitar in a latin-flavoured mood.

Golden child lead us back to the grooving dancefloor with wah-wah-guitar-sounds and fresh placements of Priseman's trumpet accents envolved in Rita Campbell's smooth background vocals.

Child's play is a more contemplative but still grooving piece featuring Priseman's  sensible trumpet.

Time and place is a funky and groovy final spurt. Indeed the whole album is a very grooving coherented work. If you love good music and to dance, this album is your first choice. Chris, please more of this fine stuff!




Listen to the samples here.

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