Everyone who’s been exposed to it acknowledges that Ariel Pink and His Haunted Graffiti’s new album, ‘Before Today’ is one of the best things to come out this year so far. You know that 20jazzfunkgreats like to be contrary bitches, but in this case we have no other option than surrendering to join the shoal of mildly psychedelic mermaids as they skip through the kaleidoscopic coral reefs under the slurping waves of a cough syrup ocean.
We already raved about ‘Round and Round’, which will be rocking the best spring discotheques in lethargically intense styles- well, the rest is as good. No post-modern in-jokes or knowing recombination of references, nay, this is a man at the height of his instinctive alchemical pop powers on a mission of love and innocence. The track we leave with you today is perhaps the cutest of all, it sounds like an advert of the afterlife as broadcasted via Poltergeist’s unruly TV set. Let the ectoplasmic soul barrage begin, the world needs it.
Another cool thing about the blooming of a thousand weird labels out there is that bands have the space of experiment in different directions through a myriad outlets. Look at Blank Dogs, who have in previous releases marauded the shores of river Stix like murky ghost wave predators, and then tripped over each other in jangly anthemic delight.
In their latest EP, ‘Phrases’, out in Captured Tracks, they set the synthesisers to rejoice and deliver a collection of breezy springtime jams where warm harmonies glide free over tinny electropop rhythms. They close it with their most robotic tune yet, ‘End of Summer’, which sounds like one of the cassette experiments in NEU!72 as undertaken by Oppenheimer Analysis on a good hair day. One for those less keen on the electroclash side of the cold wave revival.
The good folks at Permanent Vacation never fail to make us happy. They are soon to put out Sally Shapiro’s ‘My Guilty Pleasures Remixes’ collection, where renegade disco stalwarts such as Lovelock or Bottin give our adored snow fractal diva a dancefloor makeover.
We leave you today with Low Motion Disco’s remix, which ends the affair in a most epic manner. This is no cosmic workout or codeine stereo rocker. No, it is a total eclipse of the heart which sets Sally in a context of heart-throbbing drama, you can almost see her walking down the boulevards of Paris towards a fateful rendezvous, secret princess hailed by trumpets only we can hear while the crows bear witness indifferent from autumnal trees. And then the drums kick Bonnie and Clyde style to bring it all home. What happens next? 20jazzfunkgreats gasps, we will never know.