Christos DC announces release of Kung Fu Action Theatre album – where China and Jamaica meet.

Seasoned Roots artist Christos DC is finally releasing his highly anticipated new album: a wholly instrumental project that fuses traditional Chinese instrumentation with Roots Reggae musical arrangements; a first for the genre.

Kung Fu Action Theatre is set to be released via Christos’s own label Honest Music on 28 February 2024. The album looks to be groundbreaking: merging Roots Reggae beats across an enirely instrumental album that also employs the use of traditional Chinese instruments:

His reasons for doing an instrumental album were clear:
“I chose to do an instrumental album as I was always a big fan of instrumental Reggae and would collect these releases over the years for inspiration. The choice to create a fully instrumental release was made to showcase the music as that has always been an integral part of my writing process. I began creating riddims long before making the decision to pursue the path of becoming a vocal artist”.
Christos has already released two tracks from the project: the eclectic Mountain King – which used Edvard Grieg’s classical incidental piece In the Hall of the Mountain King as its basis – and the mesmerising Distance – which saw the Chinese instrumentation take centre stage across a fluid and dreamlike arrangement. Both tracks are available on the Pauzeradio YouTube channel.

Now, Christos is presenting the entire project to the world:
“If Christos DC’s aim was to create a project that was both groundbreaking in its approach and sweeping in its complexity, then he’s achieved those aims. Kung Fu Action Theatre is a masterstroke of musical intrepidness – taking Roots Reggae into territory it’s seldom meant, while maintaining authenticity to the genre. Much like Revival Reggae’s use of instruments like the theremin, and Roots use of the melodica before it, Christos employing instruments like the guzheng perfectly mould with everything else, and the result is scintillating and breathtaking” – Mr Topple, Pauzeradio

Undoubtedly, the compositions, performances, and production across Kung Fu Action Theatre are of top quality. Inventive arrangements are aplenty – from Dread and Alive’s meandering, slightly melancholy rationale to Far East, which picks up the pace and the fluidity of the rhythmic arrangement. Long Road sees Kung Fu Action Theatre home in on the title of the track, across a mournful, unsettling composition, while Mystic brings in something Steppers with its rapid-fire drum arrangement. Rising Sun is sheer, shimmering bliss; Survival makes the listener feel thoughtful and reflective, while Swan Lake (much like Mountain King) takes Song of the Swans from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet and reinvigorates it.
Then, across the album the Chinese instrumentation and its positioning is superb. Kung Fu Action Theatre uses Chinese plucked stringed instrument the guzheng, the dulcimer (a hammered yangqin which is much like a stringed instrument, too), and the erhu – a two stringed fiddle. However, these never feel at odds or out of place with the traditional Reggae instruments and arrangements – and in fact, are a perfect fit.
Christos said of the Chinese influence:

“From my childhood I have always loved the music in Kung Fu movies. Throughout the years, this led to further interest and extended musical research into Chinese music. For many years now I have had the idea to create a project that merges these two styles together. The backdrop is 100% Reggae. However, the Chinese instruments blend very well in creating a new sound that is quite mysterious in nature”.
Plus, with the final mixing coming from Laurent “Tippy I” Alfred of Zion I Kings and I Grade Records, the album is absolute quality all round. Interestingly, Christos and Laurent had worked together before – but never in person. This project was the first one done together, on the island of St Croix. The final master was from Justin Weis of Trakworx Mastering and Recording in San Francisco.
Kung Fu Action Theatre is Honest Music’s first full instrumental release. Christos commented on the process of constructing the album:
“It certainly was a different process in writing an instrumental album that required a different approach. We would record a full take of overdubs using these instruments and then remove parts in the editing process. Without vocals there is room to hear very subtle parts that would otherwise be obscured.
It is a completely different process than applying words to a piece of music. The instruments are the message and tell their own story without the use of words or written language”.

Kung Fu Action Theatre is a bold, innovative, and beautifully crafted album that takes the listener on a journey through soundscapes that are as intricate as they are expansive. This project is a testament to the vision and artistry of Christos DC, and a must-listen for anyone interested in the fusion of musical genres and the exploration of new sonic territories.


Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>