Release Date: Oct 12, 2018
Record label: Mexican Summer
Jassbusters 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 ….
Since the late 1970s, New Zealand has produced an array of skewed pop savants, from Martin Phillipps to the Kilgour brothers, Chris Knox to Lorde. But is there another Kiwi who has inveigled themselves and their peculiarities into the modern indie-rock stratosphere quite like Connan Mockasin? Carrying the air of an alien beamed down to earth, Mockasin has popped up alongside some of indie music's most revered figures: James Blake, Charlotte Gainsbourg, MGMT, John Cale, and Dev Hynes, to name a few. No matter the artist, he brings a surrealist bent to the proceedings.
Connan Mockasin has never been much of a classifiable dude. He's lived in various cities, including New Zealand's Wellington (his "hometown"), but also London, LA, and most recently, Tokyo. He's also built a huge resume of artists he's supported: Radiohead, Charlotte Gainsbourg (perhaps referred to in the song "Charlotte's Thong"), Fat Boy Slim, Neil & Liam Finn, MGMT— the list goes on.
In the last five years, Connan Mockasin has worked with Charlotte Gainsbourg, formed Soft Hair and toured the world. Now he's changed his blueprint for his solo work. 'Jassbusters' is his most classic-sounding to date. Highlight 'Charlotte's Thong' opens with a melancholic solo, Connan channelling epic levels of '70s guitar serenading.
New Zealand's Connan Mockasin has always leaned hard on his own unique weirdness, since emerging at the start of the decade. Over the time between now and then, artistic exports from New Zealand have become far more common, and the nation's idiosyncratic brand of humour has become widely known through the works of the likes of Taika Waititi. In the wake of these successes, Mockasin's music seems less unusual and more just a product of his upbringing in the antipodes and later exposure to more culture from Asia and beyond.