Bing Ji Ling produces Tussle’s latest, channels Elvis Costello through Luther Vandross on his own upcoming EP June Degrees In December, a between-the-sheets classic in the making.
Bing tickles the keys and channels early Prince, Mick Hucknall, and Earth, Wind & Fire, while bringing his funk squarely into the 21st century” – XLR8R
“Some cats are born in the wrong decade. Others are late on purpose, to cast light on past riches and link them to the present. Bing Ji Ling, funky soul brother of the 21st century is that and more” – Planet Magazine
“Bing is funkier than Fudgie the Whale with a blunt in his blowhole. If Sly was a one-man family or if Beck and Prince took a double dip, it would taste something like this.” – Pitchfork
Bing Ji Ling is the nom de plume of one Quinn Luke, a NYC-based producer/musician with a rich legacy of work behind and in front of him. His new EP, June Degrees In December, a work of stunning, soulful talent, marks the finest chapter in his career. He’s the man with The Vintage Sound and Modern Appeal.
As a member of legendary skater-cum-musician Tommy Guerrero’s group, Luke has toured the world, wowing crowds at festivals such as Fuji Rock in Japan. As Coppa, a duo comprised of Luke and legendary crate-digging haven Groove Merchants’ Chris Veltri, Luke has also produced a series of 12-inch singles that have earned the praise of Space Disco tastemakers such as Prins Thomas and Todd Terje. Recently, he produced art funk outfit Tussle’s critically hailed Telescope Mind after which he formed a duo entitled Expanding Head Band with Tussle songwriter Alexis Georgopoulos. The duo’s first releases are to appear on DFA, Smalltown Supersound and Lo Recordings. He has also remixed Honeycut and Curumin (Quanum Projects) and Romanowski (Trouser Trout) and has collaborated with The Rondo Brothers (Fortune Records) and Tommy Guerrero and Blackalicious (Quanum Projects). Luke also DJ’s regularly at NYC hotspots such as 205 Club and the Gold Bar and has recently joined NYC’s Band of Thieves on keyboards.
As Bing Ji Ling, Luke has released two full-length albums on his and former production partner Merkley’s Kreme Kul Records. June Degrees In December is the first release on his own To The Curb Productions. If the aforementioned projects have been hypnotic abstractions of funk and soul, as Bing Ji Ling, Luke brings the real deal. Bing Ji Ling reveals honeyed vocal stylings with a range that would impress Mariah. Hear his cover version of AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long” (originally released on Ubiquity Record’s Rewind 3 compilation) on MySpace for proof. Stylistically, one can detect traces of Prince, Shuggie Otis, Rare Groove, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind & Fire, D’Angelo, Maxwell and Beck.
Named for the Chinese words for ice cream (Luke spent a year in Shanghai and became fluent in Mandarin during his residency), Luke’s performances took this concept to legendary lengths. Live shows at venues such as Bowery Ballroom and Knitting Factory (NYC), Viper Room (LA), the Warfield (SF) and Liquid Room (Tokyo) included a small army of “Ice Cream Ladies” handing out the sweet treat, Bing in full regalia, and the band in 1950’s era Good Humor Ice Cream Man uniforms. The debut Bing Ji Ling album included contributions from No Doubt’s drummer Adrian Young and Luke’s right-hand man Merkely. Press coverage included XLR8R, Swindle, and ReUp Magazine.
In 2007, Luke relocated from San Francisco to New York. And with that came a renewed sense of purpose. June Degrees In December marks both a continuation of Luke’s pure “soul pop” ecstasy and something of a departure. If vintage soul and funk and an over-the-top persona defined Luke’s first releases, June Degrees finds Luke bringing his taste for yacht rock and 80s R&B into the mix and a tempering of the extreme aspects of his persona.
Appropriately titled, it’s the equivalent of a warm breeze during these winter months. A reverie for future good times. Opener “Kathalina” coaxes an island sound that would make Michael McDonald and Maroon 5 blush. The sultry jam that is the title track is a summer between-the-sheets classic in the making. “Be Here With You” suggests a meeting of Elvis Costello’s “Every Day I Write The Book” and Freddy Jackson or perhaps Luther Vandross.
Luke has the kind of melodic sensibility most would kill for (which says nothing of his musical chops and taste for vintage instruments.) Utilizing a small arsenal of gear which includes Fender Rhodes piano, analog synthesizers, all manner of percussion and bass, drums and guitar, Luke coaxes a warm, familiar sound that sounds fresh.
The cover art features one Luke’s favorite painters, Black Dragon. As a collector of outsider folk art, Luke has developed an idiosyncratic palette. It’s the perfect cover for June Degrees and is another striking example of Luke’s unique and visionary sensibility.
Bing Ji Ling Live:
02/17 New York, NY Rockwood Music Hall
* Bing Ji Ling
* Fire and Ice Cream (Krëme Kul)
* Doodle Loot Doot Doodle A Doo (Krëme Kul)
* Rewind 3! (Ubiquity)
* Soul Mosaic (Ubiquity)
* Tommy Guerrero From The Soil To The Soul (Quannum)
* Future Primitive Party In My Pants (Future Primitive)
June Degrees In December Track Listing:
Stream The Album HERE
Release Date: March 4, 2008