Evan Chandler, aka Brisbane’s yung funk master Slynk, will drop his next album Aug. 14, and LessThan3 has the exclusive premiere of two of its finest grooves in Say Yeah and the title track, Front Yard Futon.
The album itself carries the feel of stopping by Slynk’s place unannounced. It’s finding the first piece of furniture on his lawn, flopping down, and cracking a beer. His friends are everywhere, from working alongside him on Say Yeah to helping throw the yard sale-turned-party for which the album is named.
The title track plays out more like a jam session than a planned production. Chandler said that he and guitarist AfroQBen have been looking to work on something for some time, so after penning the juicy, wah’d-out licks you hear today, Afro called up Max Ribner, who supplied the smooth horn section. Add in vocals by Think Tank, and you have what he calls a perfect example of the style of music from which he draws his inspiration.
“Front Yard Futon reminds you of a time way back when–the coming together of friends to jam and have a good time,” Chandler told LT3. “It takes you on a journey from ’80s Moog sounds, back to the ’70s with some guitar and horn solos, then forward to the early ’90s with some turntablism.”
The album’s funk-house item, Say Yeah, was born extremely close to home for Slynk–like, in the home. His co-producer, Dunks, happens to be his housemate of two years. After talking about working together for some time, they got on with it over a sample of one of Dunks’ old disco records. The clip was eventually removed as their creative forces took over, but the result is undeniably disco-funk and a fantastic example of the versatility shown by Slynk while remaining within his sonic persona.
LessThan3: Explain the album’s title. How does it play into the theme of the album?
Evan: This might sound weird but the album title was inspired by a yard sale my housemates and I had last summer. We set up the turntables in the front yard and as friends started popping by to see what we were selling, they got caught up in the vibe of this front yard party that was going down. We cracked a few beers and had a good time. The whole day was really nostalgic. It reminded me of a time before cell phones when friends would just drop in unannounced. I tried to capture that feeling with the title and cover art.
LessThan3: Front Yard Futon is an extremely diverse body of work. Talk about the creative process of making that many styles while keeping the overall sound cohesive and “yours.”
Evan: During the creative and writing process I was working on a number of the songs at the same time. I’d do a couple hours on a song before moving on to another. I didn’t really think about it, but I’m sure that helped keep the overall sound cohesive. I wrote the whole album in what I would consider a relatively short amount of time–four or five months.
LessThan3: Can you talk a bit about working with Dunk on the funk-house track? Anything specific inspire the sound itself?
Evan: Dunks and I have been housemates for around two years and we’ve always talked about doing a track together but never really followed through with it until he had this neat idea to sample an old disco record of his. I can’t even remember the name of the track but it was quite upbeat, maybe 120BPM and super funky fresh. We sampled it and jumped in the studio, doing sessions on it together whenever we were both free. We ended up removing the sample completely in the end, but sometimes it’s cool to have a point of inspiration. A seed to grow a new song. Although Dunks is somewhat lacking in the technical skills involved in production, he more than makes up for that with great ideas and extreme amounts of good energy in the studio. I really enjoyed working with him.
LessThan3: Same for working with AfroQBen and Max Ribner on the title track. What was that like?
Evan: This collaboration was a bit different. I had a vision from the beginning. I wanted to make an ’80s style eight-minute funky jam session that you could just bounce your head to with heaps of great solos from incredible musicians. Almost like a jazz band where they give each member a chance to shine with a solo. AfroQBen has been a good friend for a while and we’ve always wanted to do something together so I sent him a beat and told him exactly the kind of guitar parts I wanted. He took it upon himself to involve the incredible talent, Max Ribner. I was so hyped. We Skyped during the Max Ribner recording session in Portland. I have to give a big shout to my man Think Tank as well for coming in and doing the little vocal samples for us. It was so cool to just get a few friends together to help me create this.
LessThan3: How would you say it exemplifies your sound and the album enough to earn the spot of the title track?
Evan: I think it’s a perfect example of the style of music I draw most of my inspiration from. Front Yard Futon reminds you of a time way back when–the coming together of friends to jam and have a good time. It takes you on a journey from ’80s Moog sounds, back to the ’70s with some guitar and horn solos, then forward to the early ’90s with some turntablism. I actually included little sound bytes from inside the studio Skype session where we’re just chatting and getting hyped about the recordings. It’s social and nostalgic.
LessThan3: What was it like to work with Mr. Bill? How has his work influenced yours?
Evan: I would consider Bill to be one of my best friends. He’s a huge inspiration for me and actually pushed me to write this album in the first place. Our track I Got Dis was basically the catalyst for writing this album. Working with him is really enjoyable and inspiring. He will stop at nothing to tease out the weird and creative ideas inside of you. Sometimes it’s like trying to tame a beast but you’ve gotta ask yourself, why would I want to do that? He taught me how to let go of expectations and be truly creative, and I’ll always be thankful for that.
LessThan3: What’s next?
Evan: Playing lots of festivals this summer, but once the touring storm has settled a little bit I’ll be working on a follow up album. I’ve already got a few tracks mostly finished for my second album, namely collaborations with Cheshire and Father Funk. I’ve also had a lot of requests from friends to remix their songs so expect a couple of big remixes coming out soon. Aside from that, I want to share my knowledge more on my YouTube channel and Twitch stream with more tutorials. I want to be there for new producers who have questions about production.
Pre-order the Front Yard Futon LP here.