Unique in his ability to merge a myriad of different influences into a style that is entirely his own, Kid Fonque (AKA Allan Nicoll) will be the first to tell you “it’s all one sound at the end of the day”. Whether he’s spinning otherworldly electronica, velvety soul, house laced with saucy samba rhythms, chin-stroking nu jazz or dubstep that makes your ribcage vibrate, a Kid Fonque set will always be fresh, refined and technically adept. This ability to traverse so many different styles, successfully—places him among the country’s most reputable DJs.
Since the late 90s he’s appeared on countless line-ups, playing at virtually all the seminal underground night clubs (Sublime, Reality, Carfax, 206, @115, Fiction – to name a few), and festivals around the country (Rustlers, Oppikoppi, Rezonance and Rocking the Daisies). Demand for his sound and skills spilled over SA borders placing the Kid behind the controls at events in Swaziland and Zimbabwe.
His first residency at legendary night club 206 defined his direction as a master of smoky lounge sounds, but is growing popularity shifted Fonque out of the chill room and onto the main floor— supporting international imports like Jazzanova, Ame, DJ Krush, DJ Cam, Charles Webster, Mr Scruff, Fink, Luke Solomon, Rainer Truby, Gilles Peterson, Darshan Jesrani (Metro Area), DJ Craze (3 x World DMC Champ), DJ Yoda, Aaron Jerome, Basement Jaxx, Simbad, The Gaslamp Killer, Kode 9 and Till Von Sein.
Fonque has five releases to his name: two critically acclaimed ‘Saladomundo’ mixes (2004 – 5), ‘Kollektiv Worx’ (2005) a project for Berlin-based label Sonar Kollektiv, complied and mixed by Fonque and Craig Massiv respectively. His first Soul Candi release, ‘The Candi Lounge’(2008) features a long list of downtempo gems and introduced his sound to a hungry new audience.
His most recent release, 2011’s ‘Two sides of The Beat’ is far more representative of the diversity he’s known and loved for: disc one bulges with 4/4 dancefloor deepness and the second glows with warm global grooves.
Fluid and enthralling, Kid Fonque is on a skyward trajectory with no brake pad in sight. Working his way up from CD stores to label manager of independent powerhouse Soul Candi Records, it’s evident that music has never been a side project for Kid Fonque. His career reveals an individual who is passionately rooted in good music and the sharing of it. The South African scene is indebted to him for introducing new sonic territories and reinforcing the importance of keeping an open mind.
His monthly night at Kitcheners, Two Sides of The Beat coalesces all his influences, bringing together SA’s top DJs from different genres. You can also catch him at rooftop party The Warm Up and as a special guest at Thesis Social Jamz and Cnr 537 in Soweto.
This is Kid Fonque’s fifth mix-CD – his third for the groundbreaking Soul Candi label, for which he daylights as Label Manager – and it follows releases that tended to showcase the slow, easy and soulful side of his multi-faceted DJ persona. This one though is far more representative of the diversity he’s renowned for.
In order to facilitate a fuller picture of Kid Fonque, ‘Two Sides To The Beat’ has been stretched out across two CDs – after all, anyone who’s seen the Kid drop a marathon four-hour set at festivals like Oppikoppi or Rustler’s will know that tempos range from deliberate 90BPM hip-hop and nu jazz to 120-130BPM deep house and deadly breaks, all the way through to 170BPM drum ‘n’ bass. Seamlessly.
This free-flowing funk ethic is highly evident in this two hour-plus set. Its second disc is dripping with the charmingly chilled vibes that characterized his ‘Saladomundo’ CDs (and sets alongside the likes of Gilles Peterson and DJ Cam), and it features the sweet shuffle of acts like DJ Day, J Boogie, Alice Russell and Miguel Migs featuring Me’Shell Ngedocello. All massaged into a reflective and meditative listen.
Disc 1 highlights a more floor-friendly Fonque: the kind of deep dance fare he’s exhibited whilst playing alongside Metro Area, Ame, Mr. Scruff, Simbad, or at underground havens like 115. But it separates itself from efforts from almost all of his contemporaries by adding bits of broken beat and doses of dubstep to a superb selection of house cuts.
So the likes of Mosca and Maddslinky rub shoulders with AtJazz and Crazy P (remixing Mujava’s massive “Township Funk”) in a typically unpredictable but wholly coherent body-jacking jam. This danceflooor adventure also contains tunes that have been Kid Fonque staples as he’s built his solidly diverse career, such as Isolee’s “Beau Mot Plage” (Freeform 5 Remix), DJ Gregory’s “Elle” and Jazztronik’s “Samurai”.
Guaranteed not to resemble any of the countless mix-CDs issued in 2011 (or any other year), this compelling eclectic selection that cements Kid Fonque’s reputation for diverse and dynamic DJ trickery.
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