Solex vs. Cristina Martinez & Jon Spencer: Amsterdam Showdown, King Street Throwdown!

[8 December 2010]

By D.M. Edwards

Apparently, this three-way was started in 2006 when Martinez and Spencer were making visits to Amsterdam where Solex (Elizabeth Esselink) runs a record shop when she’s not releasing her own music. This time, Solex chopped and arranged samples and dispatched themto New York for the US duo to spit punk-blues chants and wails over. Some listeners might feel Amsterdam Showdown, King Street Throwdown! is all over the place, but I think the popular musical landscape needs more variety and more hard-to-pigeon-hole stuff. “Aapie” may be the most surreal and amusing piece of monkey-business you’ll ever hear.

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion have had a ton of albums reissued this year and may yet earn the praise they never quite got. Meanwhile, these funky abstractions of hipster lingo, sleazy organ, spluttering guitar, girl group chorusing, oblique rhythms, sexy moves and jabbering proclamations are quite cartoon-like, in a good way, and unlike anything else I’ve heard recently. The groundwork may be mainly Solex’s, but those wacky Europeans are notoriously democratic and it’s the trio which made these memorably odd and visceral tunes.

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