SHUFFLER 0098: THE CANADIAN CREW
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Mocky – “Little Journey” from Saskamodie (2009 Crammed Discs)
I have the Hennepin County Library system to thank for this one. I brought it home solely on the merits of the cover art (pictured above). Until just a few minutes ago, I labored under the false impression that Mocky was comprised of a ragtag band of Japanese hipsters. Had the cover art been instead a picture of Mocky himself (also pictured above), I may have passed on it, which just goes to show, old adages persist for a reason, and also, aesthetics matter.
Then I started doing some internet research, and damn near everything I’ve come across seems like it’s a joke. For example, and maybe this is only funny to me, but Wikipedia has this detail:
He was also a member of the groups Puppetmastaz, The Shit, Son, The D.O.M, the Freeway Band, and The Roustabouts.
I have no idea who any of those groups are, and somehow it seems weird that the one with the weirdest and most terrible name is the only one with a link.
Further, and this one really got me:
Mocky is considered to be a member of the Canadian Crew, a loose collective of expat Canadian musicians mostly living in Europe that includes Peaches, Chilly Gonzales, Feist, Taylor Savvy, and others.
I don’t know, man. Could be I’m old and out of touch, have my head too much in my own blog, not out there in the streets. Maybe I’m missing out on what’s really going on, but The Canadian Crew???
On the other hand, after ten minutes of intense internet research including two (TWO!) screens of Google, all I could come up with was this, which is weird and doesn’t seem to have anything to do with anything: www.thecanadiancrew.com.
So, that’s great, I was right. Except for now I feel even more like maybe somebody’s trying to trick me. Further evidence, again from Wikipedia;
In December 2008, Mocky announced the 2009 release of his new and mostly instrumental album Saskamodie on the Crammed Discs label. The album was released to wide critical acclaim, Pitchfork Media calling it an “exceptional musical album”.
Since when has Pitchfork had anything good to say about anything? Look, don’t get me wrong, I like Mocky. Hell, one of his songs was included on the first Shuffler mixtape, but this is getting weird.
So then I read the Pitchfork review, which began by mentioning a “Mockumentary.” Clever, right? But then the link just went to his record company, no mockumentary in sight, which seems like further foul play. With this many red flags piling up, I should probably post this on Reddit; with one season of Serial long done and the next not yet launched, those amateur detectives could probably cook up some wild theories for me.
Reading on they say “Saskamodie ditches the quirky electro-funk of previous Mocky albums in favor of acoustic instrumentation and lilting songs in the spirit of 60s lounge jazz and easy-listening soul.” I WAS GOING TO USE THE WORD LILTING BUT WASN’T SURE IF IT WAS THE EXACT ADJECTIVE I WANTED. This whole thing is really starting to stress me out.
They continue with this, which I think is useful:
He paid for the sessions out of the winnings of a lawsuit against an Austrian supermarket chain that had used his music without permission, a detail that might seem extraneous if it weren’t so metaphorically fitting, Mocky weaving contemporary free-market capitalism’s dross into golden shapes evocative of a simpler, but also more ambitious, musical era.
Because really, the music on this album is basically French bossa-nova played by Japanese jazz cats (okay, a Canadian guy) in the elevator of an Austrian grocery store. Really, truly, it’s brilliant, and I’m oh so grateful that Mocky didn’t decide to put his portrait on the cover of the record, otherwise I might not have ever found out.
Oh, and speaking of things I found out, I went ahead and accidentally discovered this for you: I was listening to the track on repeat in iTunes when I opened up the video below, which then started playing over top of it. The result was mesmerizing, so I did it a few more times, and it was even cooler (until the tracks ended and the YouTube robots took over, that is). Maybe somebody out there has actual real deal equipment — if so, you should do a Mocky mash-up. I’d love to hear the results.