(Pretty Lights Music)
There’s a weird, futuristic exuberance in the wild sampling and squidgy electronic sounds of Texan producer/musicmaker Supervision. Supervision says he’s after “futuristic electronic hip-hop beats. The process I use comes from the school of thought from early hip-hop, more specifically the late ’80s [and] early ’90s—digging up old records and chopping them up to make something entirely new.” At times, the sounds are laid-back and simultaneously thick with samples and sounds; other times, the looping and sampling gets almost annoyingly messy and repetitive—it’s cool to hear “funk the volume up” followed by what sounds like an angry electronic parrot only the first few times. Many of the samples come from ’70s vinyl dug up at Dallas institution Bill’s Records, including some strange old country, but the feel is mostly a highly successful, highly entertaining mish-mash of old sounds and new, stirred into a party by a truly deft hand.
Lord Mouse and the
Once upon a time Caribbean music was unabashed party music filled with blaring horns, swaying rhythms, and unpretentious musicians who emphasized having a good time over virtuosity. Enter Lord Mouse and the Kalypso Katz, who take us back to such days by pouring on the schmaltz if it makes the party livelier. Close you eyes on “Monkey Bop” or “Limbo Song” and it could be a Havana nightclub in the mid-1950s, with a bunch of white-collared Americanos wearing skinny black ties shaking their stuff and trying not to look like they’re with the CIA. If that image strikes you as odd, try this: Lord Mouse is a Caucasian American who lives in Berlin and fronts a 17-piece German calypso band. Go Calypsonian is brassy, bodacious, sweaty, retro, and quite often intentionally silly. These Katz may be white, but they sound like calicos from where I dance.
Son of Jack
After serving as frontman for British band Grace, JP Jones solidifies his career with the release of his solo debut Son of Jack. The album, composed of tearful, melancholy ballads, references memories of love and loss in the wake of his father’s death. Grief flows through the tracks, dispersed among subjects including his father and one or more of JP’s lost lovers. His indie-pop, folk-inspired style allows for some upbeat renditions of melodramatic situations, yet lyrics are often cliché. The album’s saving grace is the final track, “Mice and Spiders,” a delicately composed, somber piano piece that arrives at a scintillating instrumental that taps into the theme of lingering sadness.