Oh my, the things that are turning up these days...this, fresh in from Turku, Finland:
Some sort of advert for a Finnish garden centre going on here, just off the page. Amazing how a linguistic barrier can transform the banal into something magickal. Would I be cooing like this over an issue of the Yeovil Express? Yeah, probably...
Anyway, thanks must go to the mighty Roope Eronen of Lal Lal Lal Records for a cultural Red Cross parcel that had me drooling and running round the kitchen like an hyperactive child. "Jesus," said Chris, "You really are excited, aren't you? Careful you don't wet yrself, kek. You look like a 7yr old on Christmas Day..."
First out the bag is this 7": "Oh Centra" by Javelin, who aren't Finnish, but are from Providence, RI (Matt Brinkmann territory!). It's not (eeek!) Free Folk (or whatever the journos are callin' it this week), but a curious curio that grafts a surreal but tender-sounding Quasimoto style helium-voice'd unrequited-love rap on a mixture of low-fibre indie RnB beats and what sounds like an unreleased song by some half-forgotten Les Discs du Crepuscule recording-artiste like Antenna. Been a while since I've heard something that straddled the Atlantic quite like this...some kinda weird fusion of US and Euro sensibilities going on here, but I liked it enuff to play 6 times in a row, so obv. hitting my buttons majorly, huh?
"Oh Centra, you made a man outa me..."
V. touching on some level I'm trying hard to grasp...I think maybe I'm middle-age mourning the loss of twennysomething hyper-romantic infatuation; that rush of hormonal uber-glee that obsessional sexual-fixation induces...but there's a muffled sampled snigger low in the mix that makes me wonder: do people still, y'know, love each other any more...stiiiiill this has more of an emotional narrative than most of the stuff that passes for 'real' Soul or RnB these days (yeah, I know, I'm missing the point...) You'd expect to hear something like this on, I dunno, Stones Throw, not Lal Lal Lal, so respect to Roope for short-circuiting expectations: this is one label you can't lasso w/ a single throw...ah, but wait'll see some of the cassettes he sent me...
On the udder side: some phat happy-klapper synthetic pussy-soul that makes even less sense than tha A-side, as someone chants: "S.C.H. ooh-ooh. L.! Go to School!" It's nutty as fuck, but there's a genuine warrrrmth here and, oh, heh: someone's doing a Minnie Ripperton-esque vocal warble... crackling snippets of Rhodes chords; then, some chipmunk backing-vocals and Bootsy low-end flangewobble and banter about mobile-phones: "Dutdut-dutt!". Genuinely deranged, yet smoooooth as a freshly-shaven pimp.
"Oh Javelin, you pierced my heart..."