• Код: STS209CD
  • Производитель: Smalltown Supersound (NO)
  • Цена: 66.99 zł
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Indie Pop / Avant Pop / Muzyka alternatywna
premiera polska:
kontynent: Europa
opakowanie: digipackowe etui

The first two tracks from the playful, conceptual Norwegian collective's third album offer everything you might want from the expansive prog-disco group. After that, the results are somewhat mixed.

The first two tracks of Mungolian Jet Set's third album Schlungs (following an album as a modern jazz collective, and 2009's excellent remix compilation We Gave It All Away… Now We Are Taking It Back) offer everything you might want from the expansive prog-disco group. "2011 - A Space Woodysey" is a stirring, dramatic opener of flaring strings and mysterious tribal percussion, leading directly into the ten minute frenzy of last year's single "Moon Jocks N Prog Rocks", an endlessly mutating singalong disco epic that draws the natural short-circuit between the Mos Eisley Cantina and the Muppets. Taken together, they form the culmination of the group's aesthetic, offering a version of dancefloor maximalism that always threatens to become too large, to careen out of control and explode or implode into the purely ridiculous-- like every great Muppets finale, really. In fact, "Moon Jocks" is so perfect an encapsulation of Mungolian Jet Set's seductive extremism that it really ought to have been the last track of its type, after which the silly voices were locked away forever. For Schlungs, however, the Norwegian collective mostly go down the opposite route, spotlighting the puppets while backgrounding the elaborate set pieces behind them. The results are somewhat mixed: Even on the group's most outrageously rococo remixes, the speed of their largesse and the friction of their ridiculousness felt evenly balanced. Here, the music frequently scales down to more human dimensions, at which point the silliness starts to resemble that of real humans: flushed with an over-enthusiastic pleasure you can observe but not share, and at times a bit uncomfortable to be in the same room as. Hypothetically this equation could work, but on the jaunty "Bella Lanay" (Doobie Brothers take a trip to the disco) and "We Are the Shining" (Giorgio Moroder outtake), it doesn't quite come together, the frequently excellent music sinking beneath the weight of the raucous warbling of a choir of funny uncles. The results aren't awful, but they do feel top-heavy, the unusually restrained arrangements never given a moment to breathe. The charming central synth vamp on "Bella Lanay" especially could benefit from an airier vocal, perhaps from a Michael McDonald or Phil Collins pretender who could gift the music's insistent prettiness with a pretense of self-belief. It's telling that "Smoke N Mirrors", the album closer and unofficial sequel to "Moon Jocks", switches from irritating to marvelous the moment the atonal vocal harmonies are abandoned.
For the most part, Schlungs works best when it runs as far from this idea of animatronic pop as possible: the sly, water-treading slomo disco balladry of "Ties N Downs", the wonderfully mutational instrumental melodrama of "Moonstruck", and the collision of the Black Dog and Jon Hassell on "Shelton's on a Bender". The last of these might be somewhat ungainly in its mixture of stabbing percussion, eerie trumpet, sampled choral vocals, and growling bass, but it's perhaps the album's most interesting moment, fully inhabiting the dark fourth-world funk that forms the yang to disco's yin in the group's best work.
Darkness-- or, more precisely, a certain ominous alienness-- is what gives Mungolian Jet Set's preposterousness its charisma, suggesting an extraterrestrial consciousness operating beyond questions of humor or seriousness. Human dimensions don't really work for this group, not because the epic is what they "do," but because their music sounds best when it becomes lost in its own logic, creating and then exploring a world of its own rather than just a quirky version of ours-- more 2001: A Space Odyssey, less "Mork & Mindy". In its pinnacles and pitfalls, Schlungs confirms that, even if the results can be cute, communicating with humans is usually the least impressive talent any alien has.
by Tim Finney

1. 2010 - A Space Woodysey 4:36
2. Moon Jocks N Prog Rocks 10:25
3. Shelton's On A Bender 6:59
4. Bella Lanay 4:41
5. Ties N Downs 6:33
6. We Are The Shining 5:20
7. Moonstruck 8:42
8. Smoke N Mirrors 8:24

more info: www.smalltownsupersound.com

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