Monday, August 27, 2012

The Loch Ness Mouse - The Jazz Mouse EP on Arkhangelsk Recordings

Say what you want about some of the internet's more negative aspects when it comes to music, but I would have never have come in contact with this Irish label, Arkhangelsk Recordings and this single they sent me from The Loch Ness Mouse a seven piece fusion jazz, rock band from Oslo, Norway. They seem to be carving out their own completely unique niche of highly technical progressive indie rock with jazz and funk influences.

"Ask Him" comes in with some real foreign psych sounds and half funk Rhodes organ stabs until the saxaphone starts steering this directly towards a fusion jazz kind of sound. The instrumentation is all free form, working on their own trajectories, coming together in places over this complex high tempo jazz beat with serious high hat gymnastics. But these vocals I was not expecting at all, doubled up and whispery right into the mic on their own tangent of melody, right into this kind of chorus complete with backup singers that take this into an entirely new place. The whole thing drops out for a second and then, BANG we're into super progressive rock opera territory the male vocal traded for one of those belting backup singers. A major beat pounding all over the kit, keeping it steady while fills of all kinds are thrown in, that organ never seems to stop exploring a slower tempo and it becomes solidly huge orchestral pop. The jazz elements slowly work their way into the back end of this, sax solos and crashing cymbals, slowly playing quieter and quieter, back down to the barely audible organ chords and shaking snare rattles.
B-Side's "Kunming" is dedicated to the city in China, which is coming at this from that Steely Dan Aja funk place, wah guitar slides and serious sax bursts and organ bass lines. Heavily crafted and deconstructed, somehow these pieces coming together despite their weird independent lines. An electric takes over with that sustained conversation with itself solo all the way to the quiet place again with a breathy slow sax and ride cymbal. A pause for the pieces to pick themselves back up again and cut in with phrases, playing off one another back and forth. Getting a little bit more casual until the whole thing picks up, that sax really trying to break this thing back up to speed. The rest of the troop follows with high droning tones coming together in a punchy, tight burst of melody. This would play well with Jason Ajemian and the Electric Cowbell catalog of contemporary reworkings of under appreciated genres from highly skilled bands.

With download code, import only on black vinyl with custom blue plastic 45 insert from Arkhangelsk Recordings.

Via Oslo, Norway - The Loch Ness Mouse release a sublime blast of heated 70s-fusion-cool. The EP explores more of the electric miles-mood jazz fusion aspects of the “New Graffiti” album. Put on some incense and dim the lights....Miles-era cool mixed with the fantastic psychedelic pop stylings of Sterolab. 'Ask Him' is from 2009's acclaimed 'New Graffiti' album, and this limited 7 inch release will feature an exclusive new Loch Ness Mouse track called 'Kunming' on Side AA,with Emil Nikolaisen from Serena Maneesh(4AD) guesting on guitar.

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