King of 70's R'n'B lounge-rock returns with a concept album - companion to the first episode of a 5-part film Bostyn ’n Dobsyn.
Connan Mockasin operates in mysterious ways - since the release of his sophomore solo record Caramel 5 years ago he's been popping up unexpectedly here and there - with his work as one half of Soft Hair and his collaborations with a varied host of artists such as Dev Hynes, Jame Blake, MGMT, Charlotte Gainsbourg - he's fast becoming the pied piper of mundane indie-pop formula.
It'll come as no surprise then that Mockasin's third album entitled Jassbusters comes with a five-part melodrama film Bostyn ’n Dobsyn - written and directed by himself, for which it is a companion. Recording the album, live with a full band which is a first for Mockasin, in the space of a week in Paris, 2016, Jassbusters is apparently designed to be listened to after watching the accompanying Bostyn ’n Dobsyn, so we'll reserve any strict classifications until we've seen the film.
Jassbusters premise is that it's a concept record about a fictional music teacher, Bostyn, and his student, Dobsyn, written and recorded by a band of music teachers - all seems pretty straightforward, right?
Album opener the comically titled ‘Charlotte’s Thong’ drifts in with a characteristic honey-grain guitar lick evoking scenes from smoke-filled Parisian bars of the late seventies. Mockasin channels Serge Gainsbourg on the near 9-minute soul jam as his sometimes indecipherable vocal murmurs in a confessional manner about something to do with a thong belonging to Charlotte.
A new character entirely is embodied on the next track 'Momo's' as he softly croons away like Stevie Wonder about some kind of heart malaise "when I lost you I cried I cried, the way I looked up to you". 'Last Night' continues much along the same lines as he serenades "Last night, you blew me away, but you took your time, patience is a lovely game."
Lead single 'Con Conn Was Impatient' is led by a dreamy-creamy guitar lick which is now synonymous with Mockasin's sound, Con Conn, we assume is a student and apparently, he's impatient. Album closer 'Les Be Honest' swirls and refrains as a functional outro track, again it sounds French as f***.
What's it all about? Who knows, but hopefully all will make sense at the screening of Bostyn ’n Dobsyn. The Barbican is hosting the UK premiere in November at which Mockasin will introduce the film and afterwards play a Jassbusters set. Stay tuned folks!