Chok Rock Big City Loser

Since Warp seems to be expanding its scope signing such unconventional acts as rock outfits like !!! and Maximo Park, the addition of a funk flexing Parisian named Chok Rock (aka Gael Baillier) shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Though the artwork down to the French disco house musings would suggest Source as a more suitable home for this one-man act, there’s something undeniably fresh, stylish and innovative about how he moulds his electronically enhanced funk. There is certainly a lot of George Clinton floating around in the exploratory opening track, "Give It Up,” which passes the 12-minute mark, but not before it abandons its electro futurism for a drop-dead breakdown that slumbers into its demise. "Buzz” packs more punch in its beats, while glossing things over with a laid back groove and a recurring half sample of Ad-Rock from "Sure Shot.” "Happy Man” borrows heavily from old school ’80s electro and Prince’s golden era, splicing up soundbites and rhythms to create a disarming experience. "Take a Plane” is the only real disappointment as it ditches the whole dance experiment for a much more rock-centric approach, throwing acoustic guitars and a little coherence into the mix. While this is only an introductory EP, there are signs Chok Rock could be what dance music is waiting for, that is if he leaves the ballads to proper rock stars. (Warp)