Connan Mockasin: Jassbusters Two (Mexican Summer) | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, January 19th, 2022  

Connan Mockasin

Jassbusters Two

Mexican Summer

Nov 30, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Opening with what recalls the haunting lullaby of Rosemary’s Baby morphing into a spectral Alice Coltrane-esque howl, Connan Mockasin’s Jassbusters Two sets off on an appropriately moving and funny trajectory immediately. Conceived of as a tell-tale band of schoolteachers uniting to ostensibly create some more traditional songs, the entire scaffolding for this loosely conceptual album is a punchline. But just as the ridiculous excesses of Carnival allude to a deeper reality of disintegration of normative social constraints, so too does this work pick at the very nature of what an album even means.

To say that this album functions as a deconstruction is somewhat of a misnomer (there’s a lot of Faust in this album), but it upsets a convention in every possible way. Take the rhapsodic instrumental “K is for Klassical,” where after a soul-searching, nocturnal sojourn of delicately spindly guitar riding atop a propulsive bass from the center of the earth, we get a grumpy and dissatisfied sounding “ehn!” as the only vocal and final sound. This is comical. It is also in some ways a parody of demystification. If the entire gimmick is an act, it becomes a complicated phenomena for the gimmick itself to call attention to its own contrivance. We end up back where we started with a group of schoolteachers trying to make some rock and roll and instead spinning out cosmic interrogations into the ether. Are the laughs that we hear in the background of “Flipping Poles” an authentic relic of Mockasin’s band keying into something together, or is the laugh from within the character of the schoolteachers? Is that distinction as important if we all heard the laugh on the track?

Jassbusters Two is more than merely the framing device behind it though. Winding through surf guitars, mostly incomprehensible vocalizations, languid grooves, and whimsically managed heartache, the album demonstrates the sound of a quest for form. That the form can only be given in retrospect once things have ossified into their definite shapes, thus making the search one of incoherence in the present, now that is one of the greatest jokes I’ve ever heard. (www.connanmockasin.bandcamp.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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