Manafonistas

on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2020 29 Jun

A merry-go-round of sorts (for my friend Ian McCartney)

von: Michael Engelbrecht Filed under: Blog | TB | No Comments

 
 

It all begins with „empty streets“, literally, cause that‘s the title of the opening track. Lascelle Gordon plays drums, percussion, electronics, combining, dissecting all the shining bits from the outer districts of real and imaginary cities. Melting pot music, wonderful in its ways to make you feel lost and strangely attracted at the same time. In some of its faraway places there is an impressionistic flair, not unlike Jon Hassell‘s latest album. A different way of haunting and playing tricks with your mind is at work here though: the sounds come from so many sources that every attempt to create a reliable map will lead you to nowhere land „where the streets have no names“. Luckily that awful song has no chance to get its jukebox sample appearance here. Peter Jones says that some piano playing reminds him of Robert Wyatt. Get your point, but old Robert’s voice murmuring some sweet nothings between foggy soprano sax lines, that would be the real  revelation – I can imagine it all too well. The whole album is so crammed full of strange exits, found voices, synthetic breathing, grooves you may call groovy and red district sensualism that it makes you wonder from time to timelessness what the fuck is really going on. Fuck knows. But it‘s a marvel. And it is definitely not a dream  that 72-year young British vocalist Maggie Nichols is stealing the show from some of the younger ladies who occasionally walk a thin line between old time „Smooth Operator“ vibrations, and an admittedly soulful blow job overture. No offense. A merry-go-round of sorts. There are deep layers here, echoes of  cosmic jazz, rock and old new wave (Lascelle likes A Certain Ratio), funk, dub, electronica and found sounds. In interviews, Gordon has cited James Brown, Can, Herbie Hancock, Weather Report, the Art Ensemble of Chicago and the ECM catalogue. (Well, Lascelle, where’s the ECM catalogue here?!) Another minor quibble: the ending comes all too sudden and would work better with some looped infiltration from the „Heavenly Music Corporation Inc.“ by the likes of Fripp & Eno. Nevertheless: kudos to a sophistcated mesh-up of British jazz-psychedelia! Great music for indoor sports at nighttime.

 
– written by M. Engelbrecht (most of it) and P. Jones (a little bit of it)

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