WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because being a cool kid’s got to start somewhere.
By Eugene S. Robinson
Merissa Campbell, as her alter-ego, Cooly G, is a former U.K. semipro footballer (Yankee translation: soccer player), single mom of two and daughter of a studio jock herself. More than this, she is a functioning jukebox of acid house, 2-step garage, deep house, grimy tribal, rap, R&B, reggae dub, slow jams and most recently — and to greater acclaim — electronic music on London’s Hyperdub labe
Which, if you just have ears and not an accompanying encyclopedic understanding of various musical subgenres, means that she does music that makes you put down your drink and dance, if you’re out clubbing — or bob your head like you’re about to. Snippets of voice float in and out, insistent percussion, and when it slows, some seriously heartfelt chill-out stuff influenced by everyone from Bob Marley and GangStarr to Mica Paris.
In the heavily male DJ scene, the fact that Cooly G isn’t, ain’t no thing at all. Not that no one notices; they just don’t notice over the genius spilling out of the speakers and onto the dance floor. And if more evidence were needed, her 2012 record Playin’ Me is there, along with multiple remixes, her own label (Dub Organizer), and her next release in early 2014, again on Hyperdub. She keeps to a sporadic touring schedule (she last hit the U.S. in 2010 when she toured with Jamie xx of The xx), one befitting a full-time mom, and stays immersed in soundtrack production, which allows her to create while at home with the kids, who have as much free rein over all her studio gear as Cooly G’s father gave her.
So chill, open your ears, expand your mind.