Jak Chantler, the former guitar player of alt-grunge outfit Kingskin, who won the accolade of Kerrang’s ‘Best Unsigned Band’, is looking to move away from his rock roots into a more soulful sound with his debut solo release, ‘Shell Suit’, under the new guise of Short Sharp Scratch.
‘Shell Suit’ exudes distinct funky-vibes, akin to the sounds of Chic and Chaka Khan, yet with a more contemporary edge that draws on the dreamy indie-pop of girl band, Haim. This is all amalgamated by producer George Shilling who conforms to Chantler’s goal of creating era-defying, positive tunes.
Even more than the drummer of the band, bassists really get a bad rap. Or, more to the point, no rap at all. Routinely at the back of the stage with their microphone turned down, they might get the odd co-writing credit at a push. There are exceptions but this is very much the rule. Fortunately, it’s a rule artists like Lawrence Preston are happy to break.
Having rejected playing the trombone (good move, we reckon), he moved onto bass guitar, not just taking to its charms but studying the styles of the best, one of whom spotted his talent and inspired him yet further. The chap in question was Freddie Stone, founder of Sly & the Family Stone; and it was through his contacts that his career began to gain traction, spending much of the 1980s working in Dorothy Morrison’s band.
Having honed his skills, he has taken the step to release under his own name. Not before time, this is sumptuous lazy summer soul-jazz punctuated by his bass playing which has all the hallmarks of such greats as Marcus Miller and Stanley Clarke. His emergence may have taken some time but it’s been worth the wait.