Born in 1941 in Istanbul, Turkey, Janko Nilović is a Montenegrin-French composer, arranger, conductor, keyboardist, percussionist, vocalist and producer. Musically, his style impressively stretches over a wide spectrum of genres, ranging from classical to jazz, funk to pop and psych to easy listening.
Blessed with the unique ability to cross-pollinate genres, Nilović’s work has also been said to ‘create poetic musical images by bending the edges of styles.’ In 1960, after moving to France Janko Nilović began on to publish many of his works for the Montparnasse 2000 library, a label which specialises in music for radio, television, musical illustrators, and film music club. Most of this material, however remained unavailable to the public as it was only ever released on library labels.
Today’s song is taken from his 1975 album, Soul Impresssions which, as described in an article I’ve been reading tonight, describes how the record “condenses the entire mastery and inspiration of Nilovic into 12 generous tracks. An incredible kaleidoscope of influences ranging from pop to torrents of fuzz, funky psychedelia, jazz-rock, and the most baroque easy listening this side of Command Records. Between a joyful Blaxpoitation aesthetic (flute, wah-wahs and roaring bass), great surges of almost progressive acid (killer riffs and spiralling solos) and surprising breaks in tone and rhythm, Nilovic gets the balance right and gives what might have remained a simple library record the solid foundations of a coherent album. A Timeless and oft-sampled record..”
Hip hop artists such as Dr. Dre, The Beatnuts and Joey Baddass have sampled Janko Nilović’s music and in 2010 he received a Grammy award for the rap song, D.O.A (Death of Auto-Tune)! ...so why is it I’ve only just discovered him? Well, as I make my way through the rest of the Soul Impressions album, I shall leave you with today’s little bundle of funk, Drug Song. Listen above.