Albert Petersen heads back to the seventies with Brant Bjork...
I’ve been hanging out for this album for many years. Every time I’ve interviewed Brant Bjork, he’s mentioned the Jacoozzi project, and I’ve been waiting for this – and why wouldn’t you? Brant has always described this album as a ‘drum and bass’ album, and I was keen to hear his take on the harsh tasty electro-beats of this genre. But as soon as I stuck this one on, I realised I had made a
terrible error – call the Rue Brothers!
You see, I had totally misunderstood what Brant was referring to; he wasn’t talking drum and bass as a genre but drum and bass as the prominent instruments on the recording. Didn’t I feel foolish? Anyway, it’s pretty much an instrumental album aside from final track Do You Love Your World? But let’s start at the beginning. Can’t Outrun the Sun kicks off proceedings with a slow and steady drum pattern, it’s all ringing guitars and layers are building. It’s not overly complicated and absolutely reeks of Brant’s signature sound. Get me a reefer, immediately. Jacoozzi was pretty much recorded nine or so years ago but it doesn’t have a sound that has a shelf life – it’s just Brant doing his goddamn groovy thang, and I’m relaxing right into this. Guerilla Funk struts about the place, chewing gum and being all cocky. The lovely bass (not electro) bubbles away and there are cymbals galore and bongo-fun-times; couple these with the rambling guitars and you’ve got a (quiet) riot on your hands, mister.
Mexico City Blues has that prominent bass again, and reminds me of Brant’s 2005 (blimey – was it that long ago?) Saved By Magic album. I lay back on my ocean of cushions and get right into the
marvellous drums of Five Hundred Thousand Dollars – but I can’t lay back for long as the track only lasts half a minute, which is a shame because that skin work is mighty sweet. I get the feeling that Jacoozzi really is an album that records Brant’s drum experiments. Black and White Wonderland drifts by like smoke in the nostrils of the stars and Qui is pornographically wah-wah-centric.
Each track has its own clear identity and I found the album whipping by quick as a flash; a soundtrack to my crazy nursing home exploits (“Nurse! Get my velvet pants, immediately!”). Mixed Nuts is full of jaunty groove and Lost in Race is a lovely slice of funk, defiant with its crisp cymbals; any one of the tracks on here would work well as a movie soundtrack – with the tunes probably best suited to a movie that involves flares and bad hairstyles. Yeah, baby. Polarized and Do You Love Your World? take us to the end of the album, and I’m suddenly hungry, horny, and a little bit sleepy. A great album to drift away on.
Jacoozzi is released on April 5th.