It’s fitting that this summer season sees months of Culprit planning and scheming come to fruition. A relationship that began almost four years ago, between Culprit’s LA crew and Parisian native Shonky, has finally been realized, with the mercurial Frenchman stepping up for his first full Culprit release, ‘Oasis’.
Shonky first ventured to LA when Droog hosted him on the now defunct Terrace space at Avalon in late 2007. Since then he and Culprit founders Droog have become close cohorts, sharing the same musical wavelength, having playied together half-a-dozen times at locations ranging from Miami, Barcelona and Los Angeles. Shonky was finally introduced on the label earlier this year, when he and Dyed Soundorom collaborated on a remix of Lee Foss’ ‘Your Turn Girl’.
Shonky’s debut EP for the label bears a lot of his signature elements, mixed in with a dash of patented Culprit funk. The title-track fits the label’s canon of soulful, warm grooves and provides the inspiration for the rest of the EP. The two companion songs ‘La Bestia’ and ‘Kwality’ took shape as label and artist moulded the release together.
In ‘La Bestia’ Shonky serves up his take on the melodic, funky bassline sound which Hot Natured pioneered for the label, with his own more euphoric twist. ‘Kwality’ channels Shonky’s love for classic 90’s US house. It works a dancefloor but reflects LA’s sun-drenched vibe far more than darkened warehouse spaces. The song recently set the roof ablaze at Culprit’s Sonar showcase.
An outgrowth of another trans-Atlantic relationship also sees Londoner jozif join Culprit on this release, remixing ‘Oasis’. His remix has been a secret weapon in Droog sets for the last few months, with its dramatic piano flourishes and jozif’s own original guitar elements adding up to a modern take on a truly Balearic style. It’s only fitting that jozif has just become a Space, Ibiza resident.
Through a "meeting of the minds" last year in London and playing together in Miami and Sonar, a friendship between the label and jozif has been cemented that, in typical Culprit symmetry, will see him go from remixing to contributing a full release to the label later this year.