I don’t love everything Diplo does and am not really a Dirty Projectors fan but when you combine this goofy Major Lazer project with psudo-serious (or I-don’t-know-what) singer Amber Coffman the result was pretty nice. I fell in love with the song after seeing the video and pretty soon it was stuck in my head 24/7.
This goes on for a while. I need a copy of the song before I lose my mind but the album is not out yet at that point and am I really going to go for a full Major Lazer album? Hell no, who am I trying to kid. I make the rare single purchase from Amazon before realizing I already had a copy of the song on my hard drive which I downloaded before they even made that video. So that happened. But I got the full release with the remixes. It turned out I had also downloaded them before too. Hell. Some impression they made, huh? I listened to them enough times now to feel like I got my money’s worth and I feel fine about it. Fine. According to wiki, Amazon gypped me a remix. I don’t know what that’s about but probably wouldn’t have noticed if I didn’t just check how many there were.
Don’t get me wrong, they’re fine remixes. It’s hard to screw up a song with a nice lilting melody like this one, but they’re all uptempo versions which undermines the slo-mo post-party mood of the original. I also like the low synth sound on the verses, the fake tuba bass line that is a direct stylistic lift from whatever but it sound good, man. None of that in the remixes. They just make up whole new backdrops for the vox, whatever. Nice, but not really revelatory. I’m sure they would sounds great in a club after you are sick of the slow version being played out. Weirdly (or not) the slow version is more uplifting emotionally if not adrenaline pump-inducing.
It’s a good little record first thing in the morning to slowly ramp up your mood into consciousness and some kind of physical activity. (If that’s your thing.) %
PS: I noticed there are some performances where Ms. Coffman omits what some have dubbed “the Tarzan yell”, probably because someone told her it was racist right before she went on stage or something. Dude? It’s a Morricone reference. Good the Bad and the Ugly? Are you ok, dude?
I’m a big fan of Mike Watt but don’t have much of his post Minutemen/fIREHOSE stuff. I don’t even have all those albums, which I should really get to. I just like the dude. He does a lot of stuff. His solo albums often have a heavy personal theme and I haven’t been able to give that kind of stuff my full attention to appreciate it, but I felt like I had to get at least one of these newer records and check it out so I got this one. To be needlessly honest (almost the entire point of this blog), I may have confused this project with Floored By Four, which has Yuka Honda in it. I guess I’m gonna have to get that record too. He started two whole bands almost at the same time while he was already doing solo stuff. That’s just the kind of guy he is.
But hold on, this is not just Watt and some random obscuros either. You got guitarist John Dieterich from Deerhoof on this thing, who also does some vocals. Watt does his semi-spoken thing too. But it’s almost an instrumental record. If you took typical Watt basslines and Deefhoof guitar and just mashed it up, you would get a record that sounds nothing like one. It’s more like a mashup of the kind of low-key indie rock that drummer Tim Barnes is associated with, and the atonal free jazz of pianist Thollem McDonas.
I’ve just got the mp3s and even tho I don’t have a really strong opinion on any of the individual songs, I’ve racked up quite a number of plays on this thing. I usually put it on at night and fall asleep to it, or have it on in the background during the day. It’s all pretty laid back. I think the cover, which is pretty kickass, is a little misleading. I recommend this album if you have a severe anxiety problems, or if you have a habit of ingesting so much caffeine you think your heart might explode if you don’t fall asleep immediately. Something about matches up with my brainwaves around bedtime: tired but tense. Or, if I’m trying to work on something, it kinda unsticks me; I can just keep going, sleepy, shambolic, confused, but moving forward. If I was a critic, which I am not, I don’t know if I would give it a high score for musicianship. These are great musicians kinda sleepwalking their way through a record. I happen to like it. I think this resonates the way late-period Radiohead does for a lot of people who are, like Radiohead, more or less conventional rock people who just got bored with rocking out. So they throw in some downtempo free jazz. This band is more like for people who see free jazz live. This record is like a 2am set in a club after an evening of the members’ respective bands tearing shit up. You know, the kind of club that has 2am sets? Yeah, there’s not too many of those. %