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10 out of 10
Chicken Lips is a collective comprised of poultry influenced remix artists Dean Meredith, Andy Meecham, Stevie Kotey and Johnny Spencer, who have decided to create their own imprint Lipservice. Their first release on both vinyl and digital mediums is under the guise of Zeefungk, with the EP/overgrown single 'Robot Eyes'.
The title track sets the tone with Electro Funk grooves that sound like they come straight off of 'Streets of Rage' on the Sega Genesis. The second offering of "Feast of Freeks" (Stevie Kotey's Tape Edit) is winning material all the way to the finish line with a lively and hard drum beat backing a real organic bass guitar line. The bass groove is Funky, but without being over the top or cliché, more akin to a Blondie bass line. As the kick drum thumps away you can hear the round wound bass strings grating against the wood of the fret board as they're plucked and slapped further down with a brutal energy, creating a warm growling sound. Then the guitar enters, space echoed from the bottom of the ocean before it melts into a voodoo soup of backwards solos and Hare Krishna chants. It's a track you can tap your foot to, groove to or else air guitar solo to, or even do all three if you so desire.
The third and final "Robot Lips" sounds a little like a new age "Video Killed The Radio Star" with the addition of playful sequencer parts,8-bit synth, moody bass and a dry hip hop back beat creating a candy coloured bike ride through Neo Tokyo.
The 'mystery' tone of the synth is reminiscent of Atari's now legendary 1984 arcade game 'Marble Madness', probably one of the most difficult and bizarre titles of it's era(also one of the first arcade titles to use stereo sounds).A huge success that was later ported to many home consoles, the game play took place on minimalist isometric landscapes that were inspired by M. C. Escher's graphic explorations of infinity. It was over these finally crafted courses that you had to race a blue marble against the clock, while other marbles and bizarre alien life forms attempted to shatter your spinning blue orb or else send you tumbling into the dark abyss of empty space. The game's physics engine was unlike no other at the time, even featuring gravity wells and sloping terrain that pulled you towards holes in the ground. The most disconcerting thing was that despite the lack of explanation or rationale as to why you were a marble with no attack capabilities trying to avoid the merciless onslaught of unexplained alien enemies, you emphasised with the marble. In fact you became the ball.
A sequel was developed in the early 1990's but was never released due to the post-Street Fighter beat em' obsessed market not being receptive to surreal marble odysseys.
If Chicken Lips can conjure up such vivid video game memories with nothing more than a few sequencers and drum machines then they're defiantly onto something good. After all, there's nothing like geeking out to dance music and retro video games. Viva la lip service.
1. Robot Eyes
2. Feast of Freeks (Stevie Kotey's Tape Edit)
3. Robot Lips