(image supplied by Tommy Boy)
Whilst Ciara single-handedly continues to bring to life the Arabian Prince, chrome plated Janet Jackson collaboration of my electric dreams, I await with a foaming mouth and bloodshot eyes for Cassie to emerge from the vapour mists once more with a record which if the faint callings that have so far managed to emanate out of the night are to be trusted will be a chronicle of all the time our heroine has spent wandering around the cavernous, lonely spaces of a vast, impenetrable Castlevania style fortress that’s been built upon the ashes, of every cyborg nympho that Prince ever dreamt up and allowed to die, and made out of towers of haunted synthesizers that react and groan with every footstep the lady takes, imprisoned and hopelessly lost, stalked by wires that creep and cover everything as she chases after the fragmented and soaked in sorrow whisperings of her fellow doomed divas of the past. Consequently it should be a robo-siren masterpiece.
To pass the time by I’m consoled by what’s been before, like this chopped and screwed version of ‘Me & U’. Where once Cassie with a steely gaze in her eyes slinked confidently across desolate twilight cityscapes sound tracked by strains of minimal John Carpenter dub disco, in this gravity free incarnation a line like “I think I’m gonna make a move” which was once announced with such cool and collected predatory threat, now sounds like the melancholy admission of a hunter who has never stopped moving and who knows now at her lowest ebb, having reached the ends of the earth, surrounded by frozen wasteland, that all is lost and the game got away.
Fan Death officially carved their name in to our collective hearts this year when they took us by the hand and led us to a strange wooded enclave not too far from the Black Lodge where without any shred of abandon we danced the night away beneath a full moon and before the owl’s gaze till our noses bled to the kind of disco music Giorgio Moroder might have made if he’d had more offers to soundtrack sleazy, sex soaked slasher films from the eighties.
On their new song the pillowy synths and casio keyboard strings they use conjure up an alternate version of a John Hughes movie, wherein instead of Wang Chung, Planningtorock queasily haunts the school corridors with all the melodrama of a tear stained, adolescent diary decorated with drawings of stars and hearts. And so our love for Fan Death only intensifies as they take us on a bare foot waltz through rococo halls of cracked mirrors that seem to have no end, and serenade us with the kind of harpy balladry that thousands of years ago would’ve soothed the souls of unfortunate sailors enticed to the rocks, unaware of the fate that had been sealed for them, and possibly for us too.
In just over two weeks time this particular XXJFG comrade (Robin) will be departing the land of ghosts and castles on a plane headed for New York City. If anyone wants to show me a good time, point me in the direction of fun places to get drunk and safe places to smoke, give me a job (one that pays would be all kinds of awesome), and just generally illuminate my days and nights with all manner of festivities, emails and messages will be very welcome. Email the new series of words and symbols: coms @ 20jazzfunkgreats.co.uk. Thank you.