It has been five years since the release of Caramel on Erol Alkan’s Phantasy Records and Connan Mockasin is at it again, releasing the much-anticipated Jassbusters, but that’s not all he has been working on. Having created the melodrama, Bostyn ‘n Dobsyn, he is evidently demonstrating his filmmaking capability, as well as the song-writing and performing. Having acquired great acclaim for his previous work it is always exciting to hear of a new release and my intrigue got the better of me, I was keen to hear this one.
Jassbusters is accompanied by the five-part series, which is the kind of shenanigans expected of someone as eccentric as Connan, in tune with his weird world we all know him for. He somewhat brings us into this world with this album, which has a dreamy psychedelic, yet seedy element of it throughout. Connan Tant Hosford, otherwise known as Connan Mockasin, is a musician, composer and record producer born in Te Awanga, New Zealand but he has spent the last 10 years living between, London, Lewes, Manchester and Los Angeles, and now resides in Tokyo.
With this new album, the multi-instrumentalist’s pitch-bending vocals are met by a retro production with laid back drums, long blues induced guitar solos and a smooth bass shimmer which lend the record a warped Michael Jackson vibe, particularly if you look at records such as Off The Wall. Only his third record, it’s conceptual in that it sits within the Bostyn ‘n Dobsyn story, the teachers within the drama recorded Jassbusters.
Charlotte’s Thong is as seedy-sounding as you would imagine from a song with that title, Momo’s is a delicate and stripped down acoustic track, accompanying fragile vocals. Last Night pulls us back into this questionable world, as we hear filthy blues guitar, Con Conn Was Impatient has an eighties retro-feel, a pop ballad with added discord. But the standout track for me has to be Les Be Honest, psychedelic and dreamy, with folk elements, multi-textured and layered, more akin to the music I associate with Connan Mockasin. However, he is consistently bizarre with his releases, bizarrely talented.
Certainly one for fans of his work, Jassbusters is best accompanied with the film.
Jassbusters is out now via Mexican Summer.