Connan Mockasin – Jassbusters review

Secret Meeting score: 80

by Philip Moss

Billed as a soundtrack to Mockasin’s upcoming self-directed movie, Bostyn ’n’ Dobsyn – a five part melodrama that documents the relationship between a music teacher and his student – Jassbusters is a bit of a strange beast.

Opener, Charlotte’s Thong, is nine minutes of repetitive, groove-filled guitars that certainly get the foot-a-tappin’ and the hips swaying. But, as is the case across the record’s eight tracks, there’s very little sense of narrative displayed. So is knowing or understanding the film’s plot an important element for enjoying the record?

Last Night opens with a ten-second segment from the film, but – again – doesn’t shed too much light on the plot, before it falls into a beautiful vocal reminiscent of Prince and a spidery guitar solo. And bar just a few seconds of dialogue, You Can Do Anything is an instrumental with a sinister undertone, but doesn’t clear anything up either. This is also the case with the record’s most immediate moments: Con Conn Was Impatient – which is by no means any kind of ‘radio moment’ – is melodically strong and has the feel of what Mac DeMarco may write if he started to write music for adults, and Momo’s, which carries a guest turn from James Blake, is a gorgeous lounge backdrop.

If you’re lucky enough to have tickets to Mockasin’s upcoming sold out tour, you’ll be able to decide for yourself if his decision to play the movie before his performance helps the record to make more sense when accompanied by pictures. But, if not, in some ways Jassbuster’s lazy mood does offer enough for you to fill in the blanks for yourself. And, who knows – maybe that’s the point?

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