Providentially enough, I'd just gotten done reviewing Thom Douvan's cool new Brother Brother CD (here) when The New Mastersound's Therapy came up in the backlog, and this CD is akin to what Douvan was on about but often amps things through the roof with methedrine, pureeing some of Shuggie Otis' old jazz dance psychedlia into the mix while setting robots to work at programming and playing the result. Too, the band has the most metronomically precise drummer I've heard since The Conveniens' John Maz. Half the time, I thought I was listening to a drum machine, the other half I knew the cat was maddeningly on the mark, an atomic clock among percussionists. Of course, not all of this is a hyperventilating metropolis of neon futurism.
I have to say the first cut, Old Man Noises was just a wee tad on the old drum 'n bass side for my tastes. I never did get too much into that mode, too thin, two-dimensional rather than three, but the spunky keyboards and funkapsych guitar helped immensely to lift away from a rhythm section persistently slightly out of timbre. The next cut, Morning Fly, more aptly embraced the prevalently novo-funk milieu The New Mastersounds carry several steps back to old Eric Gale territory, with a side trip over to Bob James, then forward into the Blade Runner dance dive just around the corner.
Kim Dawson sits in for a couple of cuts, and her inclusion in I Want You to Stay provides the smooth jazz-disco dancey vibe always either in your face or just beneath the surface with these cats. I'd pair the track with Joe Beck's Watch the Time, a lost unknown classic—well, classic for me anyway—in this genre, for some great clav/near-falsetto/disco/getthehellupanddance funkadiddle just before TNM mellowed things ever so slightly. When It Rains, though, is very easy on the ears, but, again, with a just-ahead-of-its-time infusion heard elsewhere in the dozen cuts that makes you think you'd throw the disc on to stretch out after a Buggles concert or something like that.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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