Kemado Records, Inc./d/b/a/ Mexican Summer
Connan Mockasin’s latest album is so languid as to make Kurt Vile seem like a Gordon Gekko/Patrick Bateman/Jordan Belfort-type. You can almost hear Mockasin washing away anything he’s done before as he paints over the sounds from Caramel – the closest antecedent to this; it’s as if he’s brush-stroking away his relevance to all but the admired close few and he’s so fine with that and so are they. That means he’ll get rave-reviews from the hip sites – and he’ll possibly even deserve them. He’ll certainly force several hands towards heads in a scratching motion. Which might seem the very motivation here. And he’ll be taken apart by some for the tone-deaf pitching of a five-part melodrama (Bostyn ‘n Dobsyn) intentionally filmed in wonky old broadcast-camera video which explores a forbidden love angle, is possibly trans-phobic, is certainly not of the times and is set to make The Room look like it has Peter Jackson-level production values. And he’ll possibly deserve ever jibe and jab he gets for making that nonsense project at almost exactly the worst time possible. And he’ll likely give not one fuck.
And will continue to have an audience fascinated by his every move.
Yes, as Bostyn, this is Connan Mockasin-in-Pleather. It’s absurd, and a giant goof-off that he either spent his entire life working on, planning and timing – or it was tossed off, so to speak, over a single weekend.
Regardless, somewhere inside the weird and wildling and rather uncomfortable-to-listen to mercurial moments there is something, well, special; certainly unique. And it’s an easy record to put on and forget about – in the best possible way. You Can Do Anything is a wonderful piece of soft-cornered crawling funk that is wilfully ruined by its final line, “You can do anything…to get good grades. Anything!” in a sort of breathless, camp, affected tone that would possibly have Crispin Glover blush. It’s followed by the more sophisticated sweep of Con Con Was Impatient which basically imagines what Unknown Mortal Orchestra might sound like recreating a late-80s Prince ballad.
There’s further charm with the instrumental soft-grind of B’nd and Momo’s features James Blake – who I cannot stand – doing something rather brilliant. For once. Opener, Charlotte’s Thong basically unrolls the riff to Forever Dolphin Love and knits it anew with softer textures.
This is where yacht-rock gets Ron Burgundy-jazz drizzled all over it, shoved in its face even; creamy, mellifluous.
And it’s there to be offensive. And ignored. In equal measure.
But somewhere within all of this madness Connan might have made his very best record.