Sábado, 14 de Setembro de 2013

Doug Hream Blunt, ASCAP - Gentle Persuassion (2011)

Doug Hream Blunt, ASCAP - Gentle Persuassion

It's pretty phenomenal that this record went from getting the suspicious side-eye when we first took it in on consignment, to becoming one of our favorite "WTF?" records of the year! When it first appeared, no one seemed to know where it came from (it had been brought in by Blunt himself, one day). And we weren't too sold on the cover, a generic photograph that looked like it was shot in the eighties, of this fellow Blunt, standing with a woman (a close friend of his, in a head to toe orange outfit that looks like it could have been prison garb, and who as it turns out, may no longer be alive) in front of a Mercedes parked in front of the mural on the side of the O'Farrell Theater on Polk street in San Francisco. Also, whenever there's a bunch of "ASCAP" logos plastered all over the front and back cover, our internal "uh-oh" meter goes way off. So it just sat on our new arrivals shelf for a few weeks. But then a couple of folks (one of whom runs the Gloriette label, who have supplied us with some Ariel Pink and Nite Jewel records) started asking about it, because they had heard about this record, so we gave it a listen and were pretty surprised and rather blown away by what we were hearing. A lo-fi but breezy outsider funk, made with repetitive cheap-sounding keyboards loops and tones (the kind being currently exploited by Dam-Funk, Ariel Pink, and James Pants), strange metallic tropical guitar tones that sound more like steel drums and flute sounds than actual guitar, and sly, laid-back vocals and catchy, infectiously naive grooves that work their way into our heads and never let go. Everybody here ended up really really digging it. We sold one copy immediately to someone in the store when playing it, and then when we tried to contact Blunt to get more copies, we discovered that somehow we'd neglected to get his contact info, d'oh! The cd had no contact information, and searches online only revealed that the title track, a raunchy but coded come-on to a sexy stranger, was included on a James Pants mix. This only piqued our interest further, as Blunt's skewed Caribbean inflected songs would obviously be simpatico with James Pants' more recent tropical themed output. We could also see folks into Ariel Pink and Dam-Funk getting WAY into this. So we thought maybe this record was a rare private press record from the eighties. It does seem to have a strange hard-to-pin-down-time-wise quality. Thankfully, Blunt eventually came back in and we got more copies and found out that he had pressed vinyl copies too. He also told us that this record was recorded ten years ago in 2000, but that didn't diminish our new found love for this record's questionable mystery, as it still predates all of the artists mentioned above that it reminds us of, though we're pretty sure Blunt probably has never heard of any of them. It also has the left of center oddness of other outsider funk artists like Tonetta, or Wicked Witch, albeit way more toned down than either of those two. Not that it's completely off the wall weird, but it's one of those records that we went into with such hesitation and were pleasantly surprised that we then became totally enamored with its home-brewed charm. The lp is 5 tracks, with extra shorter versions of  the songs "Fly Guy" and "Gentle Persuasion" and comes housed in an old school white cut-out 12" sleeve.  The cd version has two extra songs and instrumental versions of four of the tracks. Oh, and the vinyl has a gold star sticker that boldly proclaims "HIT!" We couldn't agree more!

320

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