The wait is over. Chanti Darling — the electro-soul band lighting up clubs and after-parties around Portland for four years — has produced a debut album: “RnB Vol. 1,” with a date scheduled Thursday (October 11th) at Holocene.
Chanti is the main musical project of Chanticleer Trü. For several years, his band Magic Mouth had us teetering dangerously between funk and thrash, at venues like Mississippi Studios. But the very next night you might find him onstage at PICA’s late night drag balls.
Chanti’s live shows are all warmth and joy and backup dancers. We caught up with them at an opbmusic session at Kelly’s Olympian.
If Magic Mouth did not prepare you for Chanti’s elastic, generous grooves, Chanticleer told us they shouldn’t come as a surprise. The hardcore sounds of his prior band? Experiment. This, he says, is the music he grew up with: disco, boogie and funk.
Producer Damon Boucher is a guiding hand on the album. Chanticleer considers him the most under-appreciated producer in the Pacific Northwest, if not the entire West Coast. “His mind is always working. For example, there was a period when I was, like, ‘Patrice Rushen, Patrice Rushen, Patrice Rushen’ (the great jazz pianist and arranger). He’ll geek out and in a day or two send you something inspired by his exploration into that.”
Composer and songwriter Natasha Kmeto also contributed arrangements and vocals on album tracks like “Runnin” and “Who’s Cruising Who.”
“If there’s someone in town who might be more of a perfectionist than me,” Chanticleer says, “it might be Natasha Kmeto.” You can thank her for the shimmering arpeggios, giving some tracks their futuristic boost.
But the controlling idea on “RNB Vol. 1” is pure joy.
“There’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel joy at a time like this,” Chanticleer told us. “I think we need it. It’s something we can work toward.”
Audio recording: Nalin Silva
Mixes: Steven Kray
Video editing: Jarratt Taylor
Videographers: Nate Sjol, Jarratt Taylor, Nick Hennessy
Interview: April Baer
Executive Producer: David Christensen