Chinese Man are a production crew who joined forces with Baja Frequencia and Scratch Bandits Crew to create the fantastic Groove Sessions Vol. 5. We spoke to one of the members of the group about the album and the work behind it!

Every track on Groove Sessions Vol 5 weaves between so many different sounds, genres, and ethnic styles. We found that every song just keeps you waiting for the next one- how did you even begin to tackle this project as a whole?

We wanted to do something special for the 15th anniversary of the label with the idea of pushing forward the idea of a collective musical project. We asked Scratch Bandits Crew and Baja Frequencia if they’d be down to collaborate with us to create an album that would be the Groove Session 5. We thought our musical universes could match together to get something new and original. The fact that everybody was so involved and motivated by this project created an artistic emulation that brought the best of all bands and defined the sound of the Groove Sessions 5.

The line up of collaborations and features on the project is crazy, how did it all come about for this particular album?

We wanted the project to be spontaneous and to represent what Chinese Man records music was at this point. We decided to work with MCs that we knew could bring the good energy on each track, people we love artistically and humanly. That’s why we asked ASM, Illaman and Taiwan MC and Youthstar to work we us, we know them so well that we were sure they’d bring ewavtly the vibe we wanted. The only exception is CW Jones, we never worked with him before but we are big fans of his work and knew he was a really cool guy. We had a track (“This One”) that was really perfect for a first collaboration so we contacted him, he liked the track and did a fantastic job in only one or two days!

We read that you wrote the whole 18 tracks in just 10 days, is that true? 

We wrote the core of 18 tracks during our first 10 days work session together, yes. It was not the final tracks but the main ideas were already there. We spent some more time on arrangements, mixing and mastering afterward. But the all project was really fast to make because we wanted to keep the energy of this first work session.

Looking at the diversity of the singles that came out, between The Drop which is an incredible instrumental track with an insane video, then This One which has taken the expression ’stripped back’ to another whole level, followed again by Hold Tight which is a straight up hiphop banger with a striking visual. Can we expect to get treated to another visual from this project?

Yes, we have at least one other music video to come but because of the Covid situation we really don’t know when or if it’s gonna happen… Let’s hope everything gets back to normal as soon as possible. Meanwhile, STAY HOME!

What is next for you following this release, and assuming the world will come back to life again soon?

The plan for the next months was to go on tour to present the Groove Sessions live but the first part of the tour was cancelled because of the f…ing virus, we are now waiting to see how things evolve…

Who have you been listening to, watching, or ready recently? Have you any recommendations?

I’d recommend the last Nicolas Jaar album “Cenizas”, the series “Dave” which is really funny and the book “Graffiti Palace” by A.G. Lombardo.

Finally, what is your tip of the day?

It’s not exactly a tip but since most of us have more time to cook, I’d like to share a very good spaghetti carbonara recipe for 4 people:

100g pancetta

50g pecorino cheese

50g parmesan

3 large eggs

350g spaghetti

2 plump garlic cloves, peeled and left whole

50g unsalted butter

sea salt and freshly grated black pepper

Put a large saucepan of water on to boil.

Finely chop the 100g pancetta, having first removed any rind. Finely grate 50g pecorino cheese and 50g parmesan and mix them together.

Beat the 3 large eggs in a medium bowl and season with a little freshly grated black pepper. Set everything aside.

Add 1 tsp salt to the boiling water, add 350g spaghetti and when the water comes back to the boil, cook at a constant simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until al dente (just cooked).

Squash 2 peeled plump garlic cloves with the blade of a knife, just to bruise it.

While the spaghetti is cooking, fry the pancetta with the garlic. Drop 50g unsalted butter into a large frying pan or wok and, as soon as the butter has melted, tip in the pancetta and garlic.

Leave to cook on a medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the pancetta is golden and crisp. The garlic has now imparted its flavour, so take it out with a slotted spoon and discard.

Keep the heat under the pancetta on low. When the pasta is ready, lift it from the water with a pasta fork or tongs and put it in the frying pan with the pancetta. Don’t worry if a little water drops in the pan as well (you want this to happen) and don’t throw the pasta water away yet.

Mix most of the cheese in with the eggs, keeping a small handful back for sprinkling over later.

Take the pan of spaghetti and pancetta off the heat. Now quickly pour in the eggs and cheese. Using the tongs or a long fork, lift up the spaghetti so it mixes easily with the egg mixture, which thickens but doesn’t scramble, and everything is coated.

Add extra pasta cooking water to keep it saucy (several tablespoons should do it). You don’t want it wet, just moist. Season with a little salt, if needed.

Use a long-pronged fork to twist the pasta on to the serving plate or bowl. Serve immediately with a little sprinkling of the remaining cheese and a grating of black pepper. If the dish does get a little dry before serving, splash in some more hot pasta water and the glossy sauciness will be revived.

Well out of all of out tips of the day this is could quite possibly be the best (and certainly the longest)! To find out more on the album and the record label get following on the links below:

Twitter for Chinese Man is @chinesemanrec and the record label is is at @LabelCMR !

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