|Cha Cha Cohen ~ CD Ref: CHEM032 CD|
NME - 30th January, 1999
Weird buggers, Cha Cha Cohen. Their singer's an Australian ex-pat who works in a Noo Yawk casino, the remainder are an anonymous bunch of lo-fi types from Leeds and their label is (in) famous for half-cut Celtic mumblings and spotty herberts hitting guitars with exceptional vigour. What chance, poor Cha Cha Cohen then?
Every bloody chance. Fact: 'Cha Cha Cohen' is the delta lo-fi fucked-funk sound that should be slinking out of every self-respecting boombox from Hollis, Queens to East Kilbride. Sinuous, filthy and supremely savvy, somehow Jacqui Dulany and pals have magicked up a small slice of genius out of a transatlantic equation that really shouldn't add up. A description?
It's Royal Trux meets Quickspace ('Trick or Treat'). It's Luscious Jackson with a backbone ('The words I hate'). It's a laid back, skewed groove that slurs half-heartedly about 'hot dogs and barbecued toads' before launching into the loopiest funk this side of prime Happy Mondays. True, Dulany might resort to Blues Explosion speak a tad too often - talk of 'cajun Martinis' and naming songs 'Freon Shortwave' - but the whole thing is so bastard infectious you forgive such transgressions and, well, get down.
All this from a band who sound like a jewish drag queen? Oy vey. [8/10]
Uncut - January 1999
New York casino worker is It-label's latest find
Jacqui Dulany, born in Sydney, fronted the Dustdevils in New York for five years, but now her debut with a band consisting of two fellers from Leeds who used to be in the Wedding Present is a hailstorming belter with a panther's prowl and Minnie the Moocher's hips. Cha-Cha belies her " sort of dance label" context with a strutting, sashaying showboater which puts the cool back into old school guitar rock while tolerating the occasional present-day breakbeat shuffle.
'He's Jet' and 'Freon Shortwave' are so laconic they lick their eyebrows, while 'Nothing To Do' rumbles for a tumble. 'Cool Slate' is just spectular, a peripatetic 12-bar crawl through gutters foamy with fallen stars.
Nimble as a cat, this Cohen's going places. [4/5]
MOJO - January 1999
Debut offering from Anglo-Aussie groove hypnotists.
Having served an apprenticeship with New York avant-rockers the Dustdevils, Sydney-born singer Jacqui Dulany birthed the idea of Cha Cha Cohen after meeting some like-minded musicians in Austin, Texas. Thing was, said musos were actuallly from Leeds. Confused? You will be, but the only important fact to digest is that this album is the most arresting CD to surface here in a while. Sounding something like a latterday Fall record - i.e. relentless cold-funk grooves, scratchy guitar and flecks of sci-fi keyboards - only with a female voice delievering the rants, it derives its power from the immediacy of the naked arrangements and Jacqui's curiously compelling way with a phrase. True, its mechanistic rhythm section are a trifle unremitting, but the joyful needling of 'He's Jet' and the more song-based 'Cool Slate' really hit the spot. Think, say, The Raincoats meeting the Happy Mondays and you're in the right post code.