The percussion master picks out a few key inspirations...

Chiminyo is one of the real hidden forces in UK jazz.

A percussion master, he's a member of celebrated groups such as Maisha and Cykada, while he's also collaborated alongside Shabaka Hutchings, Zara McFarlane, Nubya Garcia, and more.

His own work, though, offers something quite distinct. Sure, it leans on adventurous rhythms, but there's also a thirst for melody, something that takes him from post-bop styles to latin via hip-hop culture.

Debut album 'I AM PANDA' is out on September 25th, and new single 'Breathin' is out now.

The perfect time, then, to plunder Chiminyo's record bag...

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Flying Lotus - 'Zodiac Shit'

I thought this was a pretty reasonable place to start, in terms of blasting a massive cosmic hole in my understanding of what electronic music could be there was no-one more impactful than FlyLo.

Before hearing ‘Cosmagrama’ my experience of electronic music was fairly polarised between what I was hearing at raves (primarily jungle / drum 'n' bass and garage but also the occasional dip into techno and the obligatory regrettable dubstep phase) and hip-hop.

It was the first time I felt I was hearing something with the soul and spirit of hip-hop, but with the more intricate production techniques I was hearing at raves.

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Bill Evans - 'Peace Piece'

When asked to do this this list I thought, do I go down a road of influences that influenced Chiminyo as a project or talk about things that have impacted me as a human, musician and artist. The latter felt more genuine, so I’ve included the musician I have listened to, learnt from and transcribed more than any other although, his direct influence on Chiminyo may be difficult to discern.

What gets me about Bill Evans’ playing is the depth of emotion he transmits. It’s so beautiful, positive and uplifting whilst simultaneously being incredibly tragic, melancholic and full of pain. I think a lot about narrative and portrayal of emotion (not often quite as acutely as Bill) in my music and have learnt so much from his playing.

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mndsgn - 'Cosmic Perspective'

Not much to say about this except that I love his productions, his sounds and his harmony. The retro aesthetic flipped into space is a nice vibe and his music really opened my ears to the Roland Juno and all it’s juicy powers.

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Jorge Ben Jor - 'Tim Dom Dom'

I couldn’t do a list like this without a nod towards Brazil. I spent years studying Brazilian percussion and have travelled there several times to play and I listen to Brazilian music more than almost any other music; and even owe my artist name to an Anglicisation of a nickname given whilst there (Timinho).

There’s an attitude I feel in the music of pure joy and their approach to music making feels so extremely inclusive and celebratory and for me Jorge Ben exemplifies this really beautifully.

He sings about anything (check Jorge Ben - 'O Homem Da Gravata Florida' in which he happily muses on the brilliance of a man’s flowery tie) and you can feel the spirit of samba, funk, soul, The Beatles, and threads of Yoruba traditions all tied in and expressed with joy and admiration.

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Floating Points - 'ARP3'

It’s always been clear to me that Floating Points has a deep knowledge of jazz. But the way he uses it is so subtle and nuanced that you’d probably not notice, which is a very good thing!

What grabbed my attention on his earlier EPs was his slow moving and gradually developing themes and how his beats where so damn swingy. I’ve followed him ever since and seeing where he’s gone now on later albums is mind-blowing! An absolute don.

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Photo Credit: Karolina Wielocha

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