It’s a bold statement, but I’ll say it anyway. Chaos in the CBD may be one of the best New Zealand exports since Taika Waititii and Pavlova (if you listen quietly, you can hear Australian readers raging).
Now residing in London, brothers Ben and Louis Helliker-Hales first brought their laidback approach to modern house to renown label Rhythm Section International, before striking out and creating their own label, IDWT Recordings.
Their breakthrough EP Midnight in Peckham, is the place to start and the place to fall in love. The title track is almost like jazz, a silky trumpet line over beats so gentle it’s like a human beat box replaced the drum machine.
The boys aren’t ones to rest on their laurels. The freedom of their own label has seen them push their sound into more upbeat techno and euro house stylings, such as the track ‘Come Together’.
Regular touring is helping these boys move out of being one of house’s best kept secrets into its next superstars. Their music has been heard from the streets of Peckham all the way to regional Uzbekhistan, and it certainly made this reviewer curse the air when I found out that I’d missed their visit to his city.
Their gig was also the night before my wedding, but with tunes this good, I’m sure she would have understood.
If you’re looking for smooth beats that’ll get you moving at any BPM, then Chaos in the CBD is definitely worth a listen.