Connan Mockasin Jassbusters Mexican Summer
New Zealand psych-pop savant Connan Mockasin’s latest record, like most of his work, fabricates an aesthetic world from the trippy hinterland of his imagination. The first Connan Mockasin album to be recorded with a band, conceptually Jassbusters is made by a group of fictional music teachers from his new film Bostyn ’n Dobsyn, a five-part melodrama about a music teacher, Bostyn, and his student, Dobsyn. Once again, Mockasin strays dangerously close to novelty territory – with track titles like Sexy Man and a spoken word monologue about getting good grades – but somehow walks away unscathed, in part due to the easy-going appeal of his silky sound.
Jassbusters might be Mockasin’s most palatable work yet. Gone are the spindly guitars, clattering percussion and Salad Fingers falsetto of his first album Forever Dolphin Love. Instead, it’s replaced by a feeling of weightlessness and self-assured calm. In fact, the songs feel so effortless it’s hard to imagine them being written at all. So despite Jassbusters‘ initial charm, Mockasin’s approach to songwriting seems to have been too lackadaisical, leaving this album lacking in hooks that stay in your memory.