Sunday, 23 March 2008
About 10 years ago, when I was 10 or something, my brother had this album by this guy called Dave Weckl that he listened to on a fairly regular basis. It was a dodgy soft jazz number, and the production was done by evil jazz scientologist Chick Corea. Look at the cover, it's amazing. His leg is up on the stool, his hair is beautifully coiffured. Look at his whole posture. It's like he's saying I'm Dave Weckl, yeah? And I'm the fucking man! And if anyone says any different? Well, I'm going to rape their fucking wife.
Now at the time, I thought this was a pretty good album. I mean, I was ten. I didn't have the highly developed, masterfully cool musical taste I have now. So I was quite happy grooving away to some cheesy soft jazz that's like the intro music to some kind of bad early nineties sitcom.
So I downloaded this album, and I'm amazed by the song titles. Imagine this: You're jazz fusion drum impressario Dave Weckl (I know, exciting right? Don't cum!), you're sitting in the studio and you've just recorded the first track for your first big album. Chick Corea is in the booth, clearing out his thetans, and he's on the intercom.
"So what are you gonna call that fly ass cut Weckl?" (I think he talks like that)
"Gawd I dunno Chick, I think I might call it Tower Of Inspiration! Because my inspiration is simply fucking towering. It towers above other, lesser jazz fusion drummers."
"Right on! Now have you read this book? It's called Dianetics"
And y'know what? I kind of like this album still. In a post post-ironic way, obviously. I just thought it was kinda cool how I could still recognise all the tracks even after 10 years. I suppose that wouldn't be particularly remarkable if that wasn't half my life.
But 80s style electronic music is really cool again, right? Nah man that's passe, we're all about the early 90s style jazz fusion!
Dave Weckl - Tower Of Inspiration (MP3)
Friday, 21 March 2008
The anticon collective i've been familiar with since cLouddead. That album, which was a bit of an epiphany for me, sealed my love for the label, as well as a love for hip hop. Because that was what it was, despite it's avant garde meanders, and despite those who refused to hear how grounded the record was in traditional hip hop sound due to it's startling originality. Now however, Anticon are into releasing exciting and fresh indie electronica, and sparkling fresh is the new Son Lux record: "At War With Walls And Mazes". This is a record which defys all your previous expectations from the anticon label. Although it shares a similarity of feel with artists such as cLouddead and Why?, it takes their manic sound and smooths it out into a trickling trip hop silkiness.
This is an album which neatly skirts the edge between a definite, definable sound, and the kind of tripped out, cold, euphoric crackwhore-with-cash shit we are more used to hearing from Anticon. Songs like "Betray" begin as if they are going to be a post-rockish 14 minute ethereal jam, before changing and twisting multiple times, until the vocals kick in and you realize you're listening to a tight, accessible tune which could easily be described as "radio friendly", although maybe only in the most enlightened of markets, in the hours between 10-12pm on a sunday evening.
Because the mood of this album is definitely subdued, but blissfully so. It couldn't be called depressing, but it's slightly emotionally draining. It's massively diverse, but there is no real contrast between the tone of the songs. This isn't a weakness however, it's a strong indication of talent. This guy has been able to keep the same, hushed low key sound even in the more uptempo sections of the album. It's these more lively passages which keep the album from feeling washed out, and allow it to sparkle through the restrained and chastened tones.
Son Lux - Betray (MP3)