[30 April 2009]
Any self-appointed music critic will tell you that in any month they receive some gloriously bizarre music. My early contender for most insane disc of the year was See You at Regis Debray the imagined soundtrack to “things that [Baeder-Meinhoff revolutionary] Andreas Baeder might have done in Regis Debray’s apartment in Paris on the Isle Saint-Louis in 1969 when Gudrun Ensslin and Astrid Proll were out.”
Let’s leave aside that fact that when Astrid Proll went out we’d all have gone with her, and just say that this Soil & “Pimp” Sessions disc has dropped the insanity bar another inch or ten. Because despite production clarity, song structure and obvious enthusiasm, Planet Pimp is a truly insane recording of full on, in your face, all over the map, spaced-out lounge jazz. It is by turns brash and gentle, with no regard for cool or naturalism. Instead we get mad vocals, honking horns, binary fusion piano, funky guitar, exuberant nonsense, brief piano lulls, turn on a sixpence riffs, balls-out percussion and fuck you stylings.
Track-wise, I’m not sure if “SATSURIKU Rejects” refers to a group of people or is an exclamation of defiance, but the machine gun trumpets and synthesized voice is a winning combination. “Go Next” is organ driven madness, a locomotive-paced freak out which you must hear! “Sea of Tranquility"is anything but; a honking sax-driven wake up call, but danceable, and not for the head-nodders. Indeed, this whole record is part of the tradition of what jazz once was: music for people who want to get up in the aisles and boogie. No wonder they are treated like “pop” stars in their native Japan.
“The World Is Filled By…” evokes the feeling of waking up married on the floor in Vegas, and hearing the cranked house band and their MC (the bastard son of William Shatner and Udo Lindenberg). Yes, it’s that good. And frankly, if he was on every track, this album would be scored even higher. Let me dedicate this record to “Wing” the cancer survivor and legendary post-hippie dancer who adorned the Gospel Tent at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival for so many years with in his pink slashed-up Jane Fonda-on-acid workout dance pants. I think he’d have appreciated this one. And if ever a man laid bare life’s most basic choice, it was Wing: Either get down, or get up. In his case, of course, it was the same thing.