The next release on Soul Clap Records is called Zulu Congo Call and it’s by FSQ, a production team led by Chuck “Da Fonk” Fishman. It also is an acronym for “Funk Style Quality” – three elements that make up the core ethos of FSQ’s sound.
“The Funk part comes easily to us,” says Chuck. I’ve been bonzo about funk music to the point of telling George Clinton in 1993 I was going to join P-Funk. (Dr. George Clinton’s own words about that here)”. In the late 90’s, Chuck started a funk band called fONKSQUISh that included original Funkadelic bassist Billy Bass Nelson. “We even recorded our debut album at Bill Laswell’s Greenpoint Studios with other members of P-Funk. Making a record was very different then, big budgets, big talent, pressing and mailing CDs. fONKSQUISh is still going today and we’ve got several releases coming out in 2014, but FSQ is something new to address what’s going on in dance music today,” says Chuck.
The second element of FSQ is “Style”. “I keep hearing interesting disco and house songs that I’d like to revise into different styles”. “Part of the reason I started FSQ was to get remix work and collaborate with other artists, and to have the ability to produce in different specific musical styles.” “For instance working with the talented G Koop, FSQ completely recast Nick Monaco’s song ‘Naked is My Nature’ into a Northern Soul song. “Another sound style working we are working in Caribbean Disco – imagine the sound Sly & Robbie’s work for many major artists in the early eighties, mainly recorded at Compass Point Studios. That time when new wave, reggae and funk where all mixed together”
The third element is “Quality”. “It’s pretty easy to make a nice sounding disco record out of the box using Ableton, and I don’t feel there’s anything wrong with that,” Chuck says. “But I want to take the sound further, so an FSQ record is always going to have a stamp of quality on it, with lush analog instrumentation”. There’s Chuck and FSQ members One Era, G Koop and Chas Bronz. These guys are talented multi instrumentalists, with Koop and Bronz both being Berklee College of Music grads. “I’ll work for hours with Koop to get a particular percussion, guitar sound, or analog synth just right.”
FSQ also includes Sa’d “The Hourchild” Ali, from P-Funk. “Sa’d and I would geek out on records while touring with P-Funk and driving between cities.” “Like oh, who did the bass solo on Donny Hathaway’s “Everything is Everything (Live)”. We would quiz each other, “oh that’s Willie Weeks”. Expect to hear The Hourchild, Chas Bronz, and Chuck Da Fonk also out DJing as FSQ playing their own records and quality records of others.
Here’s a preview of the release: