Rhythm, Reverb & Echo with Chris Menist & Hugo Mendez & friends
Alongside his DJ partner Maft Sai (ZudRangMa Records) he has hosted the ‘Paradise Bangkok’ nights for the last few years in Thailand, showcasing vintage Asian sounds as well as music from Africa and the Caribbean. The duo have also taken these nights to Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the UK to great acclaim. At their 3rd Anniversary in February, the duo launched their new ‘Paradise Bangkok/Studio Lam’ imprint, which releases lesser known musical gems from across Asia. With Maft Sai, he also runs The Paradise Bangkok Molam International Band who’s debut ’21st Century Molam’ came out last year, and was named Gilles Peterson’s Album of the Week on his BBC6Music show.
In addition, he has co-curated the ‘Sounds of Wonder’ series with the Finders Keepers label in the UK, that focusses on reissuing music from the EMI Pakistan archive, as well as compiling the ‘Sound of Siam’ 1 and 2 (Soundway) and ‘Thai? Dai!’ (Finders Keepers) compilations of vintage Thai luk thung, molam and psych music. His project for Dust-To-Digital ‘Qat, Coffee and Qambus: Raw 45s from Yemen’ was listed in the 50 Best Archive Releases of 2012 in Wire magazine. More releases on Paradise Bangkok beckon for 2015, and having guested on Kieran Hebden’s NTS show in February, Chris’ own ‘Paradise Bangkok’ show will begin on NTS in April.
Bringing together a deep musical knowledge and extensive travels with a sharp ear for dancefloor-rocking tunes, his DJ sets draw on everything from vintage bassline Soukous to dubplate edits of Caribbean Cadence and boogie, passing by DIY electro and forward looking sounds to create a unique balance of hypnotic and percussive rhythms that he regularly showcases at clubs and festivals around the world. A highly respected DJ and compiler, Hugo Mendez is the A&R behind the trailblazing Sofrito label, and responsible for kick-starting a renewed interest in Francophone Caribbean music with compilations such as Haiti Direct (Strut Records) and Tumbélé (Soundway Records).