Back in 2014, I discovered Turks & Caicos, a side-project of Hugo Manuel — better known as Chad Valley — that found him producing chilled, laidback music that seemed like the perfect soundtrack for its namesake tropical islands. For the longest time, however, the songs were only available on Soundcloud. But earlier this year, Manuel officially released Turks & Caicos’ debut album, Melocactus.
Turks & Caicos began as a way for Manuel to compose music based on samples of some of his favorite songs, and he definitely picked some doozies. “Nice and Slow” — my favorite song on the album — takes its central hook from the 1988 Freddie Jackson R&B hit single of the same name, while a sample from Marvin Gaye’s “Turn on Some Music” (aka, “I’ve Got My Music”) serves as its emotional crux. Additional samples from Stevie Wonder and The Gap Band finish fleshing out the song’s 9 ½ minutes, with Manuel’s beats and rich production pulling it all together.
“Nice and Slow” appeared on my “Favorite Songs of 2014” list, where I described it as an “extended jam that immediately conjures up some tropical club at sunset — or maybe the wee hours of the morning.” Almost a decade has passed since then — what?! — but “Nice and Slow” still grooves just as much as ever.