Chris Joss is a musician and producer who has released 12 studio albums including 5 with US label ESL Music and has set up his own record label Teraphonic Records in 2014.
Playing all instruments including drums, bass, guitar and keyboards he also produces, mixes and masters all his recordings making sound production an integral part of his compositions.
His music draws influences mainly from 60s to mid 70s Funk, Pop, Rock and Soundtrack emphasizing funky grooves but also mixes in darker tones from the 80s, sampling and scratching techniques from the 90s with 21st century sound design and production.
His other instruments include flute, sitar, saxophone, congas, bongos and various percussion, and occasional singing.
Chris doesn't play accordion, that's a different, unrelated, Chris Joss.
While most of his tracks are midtempo and uptempo instrumentals his slowest track Tune Down is his best known since its inclusion in Better Call Saul. His tracks can also be heard in movies, movie trailers, TV shows and series, softwares, games and commercials.
Chris is no longer playing live due to severe tinnitus and hyperacusis making performing in loud environments impossible
He smashed the 3 bones of his right elbow in 2005 which is preventing him from playing any instrument very long without getting pain. Cartilage and tendons are gone, wrist can only turn a quarter turn.
He's a life-time sufferer of misophonia, an often incapacitating condition involving repeating everyday noises. He gave this title to his 10th LP in 2018 in the hope to bring awareness to this only recently scientifically-studied abnormality in the brain functions.
Chris is not a DJ. When US label ESL re-released You've Been Spiked in 2004 with a new artwork Chris was wrongly described on the front cover as a DJ which had him getting DJ gig offers. He only did 2 DJ gigs in Amsterdam in 2005 and 2 in his home town in 2007 live-remixing classic funky tracks using Ableton. Tinnitus prevented him from carrying on.
When Chris adapted the Spiked artwork for the double vinyl in 2007 and for the re-release on his own label he replaced "DJ" by "instrumentalist".
Chris released his first record in 1987 with his 3 piece Electro-Funk band on EMI and his third record on CBS in 1991 when it became Sony, while his live band had expanded to a 7 piece Funk machine. These experiences with French major labels prompted him to move to London and never sign with a major again.
Always wanting to play drums his parents enrolled him instead in "electronic organ" lessons aged 12 which taught him the basics of music although without instrument at home. He got an acoustic guitar for his 14th birthday and taught himself how to play. He founded his first band in 81 and had his first gig in 82 at his high school before dropping out a few months later.
Unable to replace the bass player who'd quit the band he switched to bass in 84 and began investing all his money in recording and electronic equipment.
Allmusic.com and Wikipedia describe his music as heavily influenced by Lalo Schifrin yet only the 2 first tracks of his first album have a link to Schifrin's music. Although flattering for Chris the 150 other tracks he released have varied other influences. Unfortunately Wikipedia deletes any updates regarding Chris Joss's page which also has his number of releases blocked to 7 instead of 12 as the all-digital medium Wikipedia ironically refuses all-digital sources and digital album releases when coming from an independant artist..
Spending most of the 90s in London Joss played bass and guitar in various bands, in 94 recorded and produced the first album of the band he was in, Monk, did various recording sessions as a sound engineer while producing his own tracks of electronic beats, emerging Drum & Bass and various funky tracks, some included in his first LP. He used various aliases to send tapes to record labels.
1995-1996: Chris records his first LP Music From "The Man With a Suitcase" the soundtrack to an imaginary 60's TV series with his new defective sampler that will forever destroy his hard drives with all his sound banks in the middle of the recording. He finishes the LP recording on top of rough mixes and editing the resulting bits into tracks. After getting the title track out on a compilation in the UK in 98 he heads back to France and signs with Cristal Publishing in La Rochelle who gets him a deal with French indie label Pulp Flavor. The label releases the LP in 99 alongside the Bombay By Bus EP, well received they attract the attention of Thievery Corporation's US label ESL Music that will sign Chris in 2004.
1999-2001 records Dr Rhythm in a small appartment room unable to record real drums except on a few tracks recorded after he moved in a bigger place. Out on Irma in 2002, a double LP of Electronica, Breakbeat, Funk and Soundtrack music. Remixes by Madrid de los Austrias and Dublex Inc. come out on a 12" in 2003. Tracks of the album appear in 13 compilations. I'm So Electric is featured in the video game NBA Street 4 from EA in a re-recorded version.
2002-2003 records his 3rd LP You've Been Spiked. From then on Chris is using real drums thanks to a new 8 input soundcard and computers getting more stable and powerful. A tribute to 60's and 70's dance music, mixing Funk and instrumental Pop the album comes out on French label Cristal Records in April 2004. Washington DC label ESL Music signs Joss and re-releases the album in October 2004 with a new artwork by award-winning Neil Ashby. Remixes by Ursula 1000, Fort Knox Five & Kraak & Smaak follow in 2005 & 2006.
2006 While recovering from a triple fracture of his right elbow Joss records a version of John Williams' Superman. Originally requested on-spec for the 2006 Superman movie ESL releases this 12" in August 2007 alongside the track Superjam and remixes of A Part In That Show by Basement Freaks from Greece & Drink Me Hot by Plastilina Mosh from Mexico.
2004-2007 Joss records Teraphonic Overdubs, a collection of multi-colored grooves released by ESL in February 2008. Flute and sitar make their first appearance. The completion of the album is delayed by Chris's smashed elbow at Christmas 2005 and various projects undertaken during that period. Remixes by Smokey Bandits, Atfunk and Myagi come out in August 2008.
Nov06-Avr08 Chris records his 5th LP Sticks a smoky sonic journey through 12 tracks of Funk, Afrobeat and Soundtrack to the sounds of his new instruments - sitar, flute & upright bass. Norwegian multi instrumentalist Alexander von Mehren makes a guest appearance playing vibraphone on the last track of the album Tea Age Sea. Comes out on ESL in March 2009. Includes Tune Down.
Sept08-Feb09 Inspired by Funk 45s and soundtracks from 1968-1975 Chris records Monomaniacs vol 1, 12 tracks of furious Hammond and Clavinet Funk released by ESL in January 2010. Alexander von Mehren makes another guest appearance on vibraphone on the closing track Jha Mon.
2010-2011 7th album Nuclear Kamikaze. 12 tracks of Funk, Jazz Funk, Breakbeat and AfroBeat tied together by custom made turntablism scratching. Scheduled to be released when the Fukushima catastrophe happened, the title of the LP was changed to "No Play No Work" when released in October 2011. The original title was restored in 2015.
2012 Two tracks from Nuclear Kamikaze are remixed on this limited 7" single Toxic Smoke mixing Afrobeat, Soundtrack and heavy beats. Out in August 2012, also available on digital, the 2 tracks are included in the lossless version of the Nuclear Kamikaze LP on Bandcamp
2012-2013 records his 8th Album Bimbo Satellite. 13 tracks fueled by the magic powers of Minimoog, Clavinet and Rhodes over fat acoustic beats.
2014 - With ESL Music no longer functionning as a record label, Chris sets up his own record label Teraphonic Records. This digital-only release comes out in February 2014.
2015 I've Been Remixed is the collection of all remixes previously released on vinyl. Featuring AtFunk, Basement Freaks, Fort Knox Five, Smokey Bandits, Plastilina Mosh, Kraak & Smaak, Myagi, Madrid De Los Austrias, Dublex Inc & Ursula 1000.
2014-2016 Escape Unlikely released in october 2016 this 12 track LP with its movie poster artwork carries a strong funky soundtrack vibe circa 74 that won't leave you sitting still. Featuring the usual suspects: an armada of vintage instruments guaranteed to make you move!
2016-2017 Misophonia is Chris's 10th studio album released in February 2018. The album title is the name of the condition from which Chris has been suffering since his childhood. 12 tracks that cover a wide spectrum of his influences : 60's beats and rock, 70's funk and jazz funk, soundtrack and latin vibes, spiced with a flavor of electronica to keep it extra fresh !
2018 VOLUME II
Turn your volume up to 11 for Chris's 11th studio album released in March 2019: Monomaniacs volume 2
The long awaited follow-up to 2010's vol1 is full of rough sounding Funk tracks, faithful to the spirit of volume 1.
With the basic tracks mostly recorded during the summer heat wave, the rhythms are hot and sticky. Mixing afrobeat, funk, rock with granular textures and fat Moogs the album is released in May 2020:
Chris has been suffering from hyperacusis for over 20 years, preventing him from playing live or being in any noisy environment. The artwork is by Add Noise Studios.