Raphaël Top-Secret & Nelson Bishop – Chekema
The melancholy reality of Paris meets arcadian tropics on this deep afro-disco cut. In an era where a DJs Instagram profile is an facet to their success, its refreshing to come across Raphaël Top-Secret. The French producer lets his releases sketch his identity, removed from any fashion statement. His production varies, covering lo-fi deep house, San Francisco funk and, of course, exotic disco edits. Collectively, the warmness evoked by his cuts feels so detached from the rainy climate of Rue Du Faubourg St Honoré. ‘Chemaka’, a 2016 release on Antinote is a paragon of this.
This time, his collaborator is a fellow compatriot Nelson Bishop, whose prior release ‘Grosse Tête’ dates back to 2007. The EP proffered a range of analogue synths combining minimal, funk & disco. Bishop’s influence is felt here on the teetering synth pad that oscillates like the waves of the Banzai Pipeline. Crimson colours dance around like the flames of a ritual dance. The constant here is the drum arrangement, which sounds like a djembe used to create a rhythm that prompts your feet to move.
The vocalist chats a mystical incantation that is beyond comprehension. The supporting singing is more emotionally bare, stripping the spirit down to its core. Underlining it is an acid lick, which enters the ceremony halfway through. Yet it complements the existing sound palette rather than colonialising it to become an acid track. The cadence of the track almost dreamlike, offering you an insight into a world that is hypnotising. Your imagination is the author of the setting & location, but the track is the master of this dance.