Since his track Smothered Mate (from the album Ivory Tower) was chosen as the soundtrack for the French national soccer team’s World Cup victory, Chilly Gonzales has gradually taken steps towards France. While waiting to take his seat at the illustrious Académie Française, he fed his soul with camembert and French literature and released, in 2023, his first album entirely written and composed in the language of Molière: FRENCH KISS.
“After hearing Richie Hawtin aka Plastikman’s ‘Consumed’ for the first time, I felt that the record’s loose use of melody and negative space threatened my musical sensibility. The album’s unique timing structure pushed me towards an idea of composing accompanying piano pieces (counterparts) for each of the tracks. It would not be a remix. It would be one composer instinctively reacting to – and finding space within – another composer’s already completed work.” Chilly Gonzales
“ Christmas is a time of very mixed intense emotion for me, and the existing canon often sounds like a forced smile. Christmas is a typical time for superficial happiness, but also a time for reflection and mourning the sad events throughout the year. The songs of A very chilly christmas make room for a more authentic interpretation of this very peculiar 2020 holiday season. ” Chilly Gonzales
From feudal oldies to newer holiday pop canon, A very chilly christmas surveys a broad scope of seasonal repertoire and sentiment. There’s grandeur and solemnity, there’s austerity and merriment, an original featuring Feist and covers featuring Jarvis Cocker. And, of course, there’s Mariah Carey.
As a whole, the album’s gift is the space it creates for quieter moments amid the flurry and noise of the season.
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He looks like Jon Spencer but sounds more like Eminem, with a lo-fi 808 nightmare pushing Dr. Dre out of the producer’s chair. Still, Gonzales is definitely not the worst MC, as he styles himself on a track heard on his first pure rap LP, The Entertainist. He’s actually a great rapper, as iconoclastic and inscrutable a figure as Kool Keith or Ol’ Dirty Bastard, with an irresistible sense of rhythm, hilarious lyrics, and a raw, kinetic production approach that benefits on several skeletal tracks from Digital Hardcore colleagues Patric Catani and Bomb20. One of the best productions, though, was actually recorded by Gonzales’ associate Peaches. The track, “Futuristic Ain’t Shit to Me,” appears to set out the Chilly Gonzales agenda (“Being futuristic these days means being futuristic on your own terms”), though subsequent lyrics (“Being futuristic means loving worms/Saving your sperm/Wearing your pubes in a perm”) resist any attempt at analysis. Besides rapping white-boy nonsense like Beck or MC Paul Barman (“Jimmy Carter in the place to be!/Hangin’ with Chilly G!”), Gonzales also pokes fun at the legion of sex-crazed rappers out there, with amusing parodies (we’re assuming) like “Candy” and “Cum on You.” It’s unclear whether he’s attempting to save rap from the mainstream blahs or ridicule it out of existence, but The Entertainist is a brilliant left-field hit for fans of oddball hip-hop production and zany lyrics. allmusicguide.com