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The Blue Room - Chris Coco and Rob da Bank


Review: Jack Foley

THE Blue Room - on Radio 1, every Saturday between 5am and 7am on 97 - 99FM - started in January 2002 as a three-hour segue of music.

Its principle aim was to flag up the best in strangedays sounds, and recruited the expertise of chillout Djs, Chris Coco and Rob da Bank, to discover music that 'sounds quite weird but seems right at five o'clock in the morning'.

Hence, it isn't just about chillout, and sending people to sleep, and it isn't confined to any one genre. Yet it does have a huge cult following and is always worth catching for any bleary-eyed nightowl, or early morning riser, who needs a little sound massage at that point of the day.

It only seemed natural, therefore, that the show should give rise to a compilation CD, which has been spread across two-discs - one for each Dj.

The result is pure musical satisfaction, a quite beautiful, and effortlessly beguiling, collection of remixes, that provide the perfect remedy for any furrowed brow, or stressed out day.

The records chosen are an eclectic bunch, some of which you will have heard and even know well, and others which you will be baying to hear more of once they have finished.

Calexico's Not Even Stevie Nicks is an excellent example of the latter, a Flaming Lips-inspired fusion of folk and space-rock, that contains a quite haunting vocal, while Ikon's orchestral, The Dove, is the type of track you just know you have heard somewhere before, without ever being able to remember where.

Needless to say, The Polyphonic Spree crop up, with The Bees remix of their Light and Day/Reach for the Sun single, while the Flaming Lips' All We Have Is Now brings Chris Coco's CD1 to a suitably downtempo, but classy, close.

In fact, CD1 rarely puts a foot wrong, while CD2 follows in similarly grand fashion, effortlessly appealing to leftfield listeners with its soothing beats and slightly more uptempo collection of records, that includes the likes of the Psychonauts, Lazyboy (featuring Lee 'Scratch' Perry) and Blue Mar Ten.

And a chillout/5am style crossover just wouldn't be complete without The Cure's Lullaby, which fits in perfectly with the lesser-known material around it.

The best track, however, is The Orb's opener, Blue Room, which has to rate as one of the greatest leftfield tracks of all time, with its breathtakingly simple guitar sample, and genuinely chilled beats.

At over two and a half hours, The Blue Room is a genuinely long and pleasing listen, and one which looks likely to broaden the appeal of several of the artists it features so strongly.

The show itself has now accumulated such a huge following, that people turned out in their droves to catch the DJs' set at Glastonbury this year, so expect the CD to be massive.

It is, quite possibly, the chillout compilation of the year - even though we're not supposed to call it that ;o)

  • Track listing:
    The Blue Room CD1 Mixed by Chris Coco

    1. The Orb - Blue Room (CocoDaBank Remix)
    2. Ulrich Schnauss - Crazy For You
    3. cane141 - Sugarfoot
    4. Ralph Myerz & The Jack Herren Band - You Never Come Closer
    5. Calexico - Not Even Stevie Nicks
    6. Ikon - The Dove
    7. Static - Inside Your Heaven
    8. The Polyphonic Spree - Light And Day/Reach For The Sun (The Bees Remix)
    9. Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions - On The Low
    10. Moly - Me And Lucifer
    11. My Morning Jacket - Phone Went West
    12. Ja-Man Allstars - West Man Skank
    13. Chris Coco - Revolution
    14. Ultrafox - Cloakroom Girl
    15. Ladytron - Cracked LCD
    16. Erlend Oye - Ghost Trains
    17. Cassetteboy - Bring Back Cloaks
    18. Mark Thibideau - Distance Between
    19. The Flaming Lips - All We Have Is Now

    The Blue Room CD2 Mixed by Rob da Bank
    1. Hubtone - Seeing Things
    2. Chungking - Making Music
    3. Harpers Bizarre - Witchi Tai To
    4. Psychonauts - Hips For Scotland
    5. Peven Everett - They So Cold
    6. Impossible Beings - Dois Pólos
    7. DJ DSL - Happy Bear
    8. Lazyboy feat. Lee "Scratch" Perry - Penguin Rock (Manasseh Meets the Upsetter Remix)
    9. Annie - I Will Get On
    10. Kraak en Smaak - Money In The Bag
    11. Putsch '79 - Steam Engine
    12. Uusi Fantasia - Lattialla Taas
    13. Rise Ashen - Second Wind
    14. Plej - Lay Of The Land
    15. Spiller - Cry Baby (Röyksopp's Målselves Memorabilia Mix)
    16. Blu Mar Ten - The Feeling
    17. The Postal Service - Such Great Heights
    18. The Cure - Lullaby
    19. The Orb - Blue Room (CocodaBank Remix)

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