An intoxicating cooperative of disco grooves and friendship, Bristol’s Tungz operate out of a basement-home-studio-come-head-office where the core values are sleek minimalism, clean lines and future-funk breakdowns. The unlikely enterprise landed the band a release with Jamz Supernova’s imprint in 2019. Recently signing to Heist or Hit, the company line continues to be towed by means of a loungecore French-dance aesthetic coloured by 70s AM rock synths, tightly tuned percussion and guitar licks so richly sophisticated they ought to have a Beverly Hills postcode.
Forged in the bohemian and multi-cultural district of Stokes Croft, Tungz (Nicky, Jamie, Ollie and Rick) circled each other in concentric bands. Maxing out on an affinity for block parties, pizza, jazz, afrobeat, 60s typography and 30 Rock – the group’s original name was ‘Best Friend Gang’ – they concluded that their collective energy was fate-like. Their output exudes an apathy towards mainstream sounds. Defined instead by a future nostalgia, rendered in a microscopic level of detail. like J-Dilla watching Community with Prince, there exists an infinity of nuance in the shuffles and grooves, composition and structure, beats and set pieces.
A DIY aesthetic permeates all aspects of Tungz creative output, from self-timer press shots to video directing. However, perhaps most notable is their home studio set up. Song writing and lead vocals is a table for two – with Nicky and Jamie occupying either side of the same coin. Production is more of a buddy-cop scenario, with Nicky driving and Jamie riding shotgun. Patrolling in amongst the neon glow of the desk, like audio law enforcement arresting frequencies, oscillation and decay, Tungz are able to clean to the streets of outside influence counter to the band’s tastes. “The fact that we have a producer as part of the band means we sounds completely like us.” The space may be small but for Tungz, constraints equal creativity.