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Listen Up's Tony - reviews a new track
Tribal incantations of the Funky kind
I have to say, you are honestly in for a treat this week as I review the un-fucking-believable remix EP from the imperious Winachi, Parasitical Elimination…This is an absolute belter ladies and gentlemen.
How best to describe Winachi….I asked myself this question as I began writing this review….and the simple answer is, I couldn't. They are a band that cannot be confined or restricted into one specific genre or pool of music. They produce a mind-bending fusion of cool electro funk, groovy house, deep soul and psychedelic rock to create positive, uplifting, feel good songs that make you want to dance. Their music is a truly unique listening experience quite like no other band I've ever heard…and it's fucking fantastic man,…and I mean, truly…fucking…fantastic.
Formed in 2015, Winachi are made up of Liam Croker (vocals/lyrics), Antony Egerton (keys & programming), Andy McKay (guitar), Richard Ritchie (bass), Paul Lawrence (drums) and former Ian Brown percussionist and indie music royalty, Inder Goldfinger (tabla & percussion). The band have supported the likes of The Charlatans, The Happy Mondays and The Sugarhill Gang and have worked with some leading international artists and producers. They are a band that are on a steep upward trajectory and in this writer's opinion, destined for supreme greatness in the not too distant future.
Originally sharing their time between their hometown of Warrington and the bright lights and big city of Los Angeles, it's safe to say that Winachi are no ordinary band and this is clearly evident in their sound. Those Southern Californian influences have been pivotal in shaping the musical direction of the band and it has seen them establish themselves as one of the most exciting new acts around.
Having had a few issues across the pond with their original band name, Chinawhite - which in the US is a street slang term for Heroin, they soon became Winachi Tribe. Which also caused them a bit of bother because of the connotations of the word 'Tribe' and the existence of an actual Native American tribe called the Winachi Tribe! The band eventually settled on the name Winachi….a unique, cool as fuck band name for a unique, cool as fuck band.
In the lead up to the release of the band's debut album, the lads have revisited some of their back catalogue to remix, remaster and re-imagine some of their earlier tracks. Working with some of the most exciting and talented producers in the world today, they have created this majestic little record that is quite possibly my favourite and most fun EP of the year
The EP kicks off with the stunning DubFiles remix of the bands seminal 2019 single, Parasites Paradise, featuring legendary Jamaican reggae artist, I Kong and produced by one of the world's leading Dub producer's Paolo Baldini. And what a fucking start this is to the EP.
A low fi, moody intro that sounds like the warped love child of Massive Attack and Dreadzone starts proceedings. A slow reggae drum beat rhythm and some beautifully placed synth work accompany a hypnotic, pulsing bass line….I Kong's empowered, almost spiritual vocals eventually kick in, lending an even greater depth to the layers of the song. Baldini's smooth, polished production on this track elevates the song to the point that it almost feels like a brand new track. It’s absolutely tremendous
Next up is the dark, twisted re-imagining of the bands electro funk head bobber, A Room With A Zoo. The bands manager and acclaimed music producer, Howie B is on production duties this time. And what a track it is. I am a massive fan of the original song, but it's taken to another level on this version. Supremely vibeful, psychedelic beats and a stabbing percussion bounce the hip-shaking melody along, giving this song a dirty disco feeling to it. The infectious trip hop rhythm is darkened by lyrically stark, but cosmically funky vocals from Croker. It's an absolute gem of a track.
The third track is once again a re-imagining of Parasite's Paradise, aptly named Parasite's Paradise revisited (Impey Remix). This track is so unrecognisable from the original that it genuinely sounds like a completely different song. Produced by acclaimed London based grime producer, Tommy Impey, it is startling just how removed this version sounds to the opener. Distorted, warped grooves and slowed down instrumentals create a darker, even more moodier version of the song, which has a starkly cinematic feel to it. The differing elements of the song seem to come at you from all angles creating a disorientating sense of foreboding that makes you feel like you are going slightly insane. It's a tempestuously brooding, twisted head-fuck of a song and I fucking love it.
This epic EP is brought to a close with the superb, almost claustrophobic dark-funk, electro groove ditty, Sense Of Danger. This masterful edit from Jim Spencer, who has worked with the likes of New Order and The Charlatans, adds a real sense of menace to the track. Croker's almost whispered warnings of 'This is Danger, Round the Corner' only add to the quivering uneasiness. The layered aesthetics of the sound genuinely wouldn't be out of place on a John Carpenter film score. It is a fitting end to a deliciously dark, reconsidered collection of songs from Winachi. I doubt you will hear a more diverse, experimental and musically ear-pleasing EP this year.
Winachi's continued musical experimentation to create wildly unique and original music is an art form they have mastered and it really is a joy to behold. They truly are a band like no other….so step onto the Winachi groove train, have a fucking good time and enjoy the ride.
Parasitical Elimination is out now on Bandcamp