Connan Mockasin: Jassbusters (Mexican Summer) Review | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Sunday, September 19th, 2021  

Connan Mockasin

Jassbusters

Mexican Summer

Oct 15, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Connan Mockasin has never been much of a classifiable dude. He’s lived in various cities, including New Zealand’s Wellington (his “hometown”), but also London, LA, and most recently, Tokyo. He’s also built a huge resume of artists he’s supported: Radiohead, Charlotte Gainsbourg (perhaps referred to in the song “Charlotte’s Thong”), Fat Boy Slim, Neil & Liam Finn, MGMTthe list goes on. He’s certainly been around the world a few times.

On his new album, Jassbusters, Mockasin ventures into expanding R&B territory, with tracks that range from the lengthy and aforementioned “Charlotte’s Thong” to the bizarre and slippery “B’nD”a song inspired by a five-part film series called Bostyn ‘n Dobsyn, which Mockasin wrote, directed, and starred in alongside his childhood next door neighbor. This film series, about a music teacher and student, in turn, inspired the majority of Jassbusters, and therefore the record is regarded as a “concept album.”

All of the tracks on Mockasin’s third album are groovy to a varying degree, and all feature Mockasin’s falsetto voice on sparingly full display. Mockasin’s voice fluctuates between the soft R&B whisper of James Blake (who appears on the Jassbusters track “Momo’s”), to the loose-lips of Mac DeMarco and the reserved soulfulness of a street performer cast in the moonlight.

The stats for Jassbusters are rather impressive. Recorded in just a week, the record is Mockasin’s first in five years and his first album to feature a backing band. His previous two releases, Caramel (2013) and Forever Dolphin Love (2010), were met with wide acclaim; Jassbusters, however, takes a step into some even more alternative territory.

“Last Night” begins with some odd sound effects, the long-distance sound of the soon-to-be-hi-fi song played amidst dialogue between, presumably the titular characters of the five-part series. The song itself sounds like something out of a dimly lit jazz club, with Mockasin’s voice cutting through with angular precision.

First single, “Con Conn Was Impatient,” paints a picture of a hollow longing, surreal and love-struck like a lot of Mockasin’s work. Mockasin’s voice, again, draws the listener in with more efficacy than a stringed instrument ever could. His voice cracks with vulnerability, lodged between love and longing.

The final album track, “Les Be Honest,” is moody, despite its indecipherable lyrics. With a choir backing, the song fades into a subaquatic level of punctuation. (www.con-nan.com)

Author rating: 6.5/10

Rate this album
Average reader rating: 7/10



Comments

Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published

URL

Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.