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King Kooba

Accomplished bassist Charlie Tate and experienced deck-technician Matt Harris (aka DJ Shuff) formed King Kooba in the mid '90s as a studio project. Tate co-founded the seminal funk band The Big Cheese Allstars in '95, and for two years he toured the world, supporting acts such as Gil Scott Heron, Fred Wesley, Don Blackman, Roy Ayres, and the Godfather himself, James Brown. In mid '97, Tate was hired for his bass playing abilities by Neneh Cherry with whom he toured for the rest of the year. All this time, Harris was honing his DJ skills in the clubs of London and Paris.

In between gigs and touring, Tate and Harris combined their collective talents in the studio. The Imperial Solution -- their first release as King Kooba -- was immediately signed by London's newly formed Second Skin. Best described as futuristic funk, the album gained support from a varied audience including Giles Peterson and Ed Rush. They took their second album, Enter The Throne Room, from the studio to the stage with the assistance of drummer Dave Westlake (Sneaker Pimps), multi-instrumentalist Simon Richmond (Palmskin Productions), and keyboardist Greg Rowland (Doctor X).

NuFoundFunk, their third album, incorporates the talents of vocalist Melissa Heathcote (Koobesq), rapper/vocalist D'Jaine, drummer Max Sedgley (Breakbeat Era), and guitarist V Love (K-Creative founder). It was this album that prompted a U.S. signing by none other than San Francisco-based Om Records. Having released a slightly amended version of NuFoundFunk, the label began incorporating King Kooba into their successful Om Lounge series. The Easy Access Orchestra remix of "Fooling Myself" is culled from Om Lounge 4 and features vocals from Melissa Heathcote. "California Suite" is mixed to perfection by Mark Farina on Mushroom Jazz 3 alongside tracks from People Under the Stairs and Urban Blackcountry. It is impossible not to be seduced by their cool jazzy beats, smooth keys, and silky '70s percussion.

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