Connan Mockasin’s ‘Jassbusters’ Is Strangely Beautiful

Mockasin’s album is borne out of a lo-fi short film created by the man himself, which is in short about a failing student trying to impress his creepy music teacher. Jassbusters is the teacher’s band, intended to sound novice, but instead comes to us as a mellow, lamenting project, glimmering with jazzy tones and soft percussion.

It is always a bold move to place a 9-minute song as the opener for a record, but ‘Charlotte’s Thong’ has a simplicity that perfectly sets the tone for the rest of the album.

The humour of the melodrama behind this isn’t lost, with quotes from the film drifting in and out. ‘B’nd’ hints the most at the film as quotes play amongst the more dancey riff: “your grades are slipping, every subject except for music… don’t let this one slip or you could be going to military school”.

Without this narrative, the album is a sleepy yet pretty piece of work, but sprinkling in the premise of Mockasin’s film adds a new uncomfortable edge. James Blake’s feature on ‘Momo’s’ is eerily fragile, and the lyrics of ‘Last Night’ feel uneasy (“last night, you blew me away, took your time, you blew me to pieces”). ‘Sexy Man’ somehow maintains its loveliness through its delicate melodies.

Mockasin has managed to capture a fragility and innocence despite its strange story, with this juxtaposition throughout adding a layer of complexity, which results in making Jassbusters a thoroughly beautiful and intricate listen despite its simplicity.

Isobel Moloney

Header image via Under The Radar