Published Oct 10, 2018Jassbusters is Connan Mockasin's third album and first since 2013's Caramel. The New Zealander's latest was recorded live at Studios Ferber in Paris in 2016 and is his first album to be recorded with a full band. The two-year delay between recording and release is due to Jassbusters being the accompanying soundtrack for Mockasin's five-part film Bostyn n' Dobsyn, which is slated to be released at the same time.
Jassbusters is a smooth, cohesive piece of work that doesn't feel typical of a soundtrack but more of a concept album working through different movements. There is very limited variance in guitar tones from the deep groove of first track "Charlotte's Thong" onwards. Mockasin stays in a nice R&B pocket with simple riffs, groovy bass lines and concise percussion.
"Momo's" changes the dynamic slightly, with James Blake's highly emotive vocals taking lead over Mockasin's gentle coo, but the album's overall melodic inflection remains fluid. It is obvious that Mockasin and his band took great care in crafting specifically mellifluous songs that are more concerned with mood than message — obviously vital to a soundtrack.
Jasssbusters' steady output of blue-tinted melodies make it an exceedingly easy listening experience. It will be interesting to see how Mockasin pairs the music with visual media, but anyone who has watched a Mockasin music video can be fairly confident that it will be unique. (Mexican Summer)