Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Cassette Review: Eaton Flowers "Epəkə" (SDM Records)

I'm not sure what the name Eaton Flowers is in reference to exactly but it naturally makes me think of Bobby Eaton, which implores me to tell you all that the Midnight Express is in fact greater than the Rock N Roll Express.   This would be something perhaps only fans of professional wrestling understand, but when you listen to "Epeke", you will also understand how this feels relevant.    This music is less about rock n roll and more about something you would listen to at midnight-- I know I have.

We open up the cassette with an audio clip about there being no beginning and no end, like a circle, and this theme remains.   A strong bass line and these chicka chicka guitars give off the feels of "Shaft" and then what I can only call jazz flute brings out some funkier sounds.  Electronics can be heard with these deep vocals (like Jigsaw) mixed with robotic vocals.   It tries to stray a little bit from its origins but that jazz flute remains.    A saxophone also makes it presence felt for a more jazz-based style. 

I also like to think of this in some ways as being a 1970's cop show.    Perhaps a little bit of that "Starsky and Hutch" vibe.    Drum beats come on fast and then the funky jazz chaos can seemingly switch to an instrumental hip-hop version of itself.   There are some vocals in here though and he mentions a cow going to college which makes me think about that Lewis Black joke ("If it wasn't for my horse, I wouldn't have spent that year in college")   If I had to compare this with something else I'd put it somewhere between Tribe and Us3 at this point.   If I needed to give it a genre I'd call it "g r o o v ewave" because it's kind of groovy too.

The flip side hits with this jumbled urgency.   There is a dire feel to the delivery.   Vocals are mashed in, though they might just be spoken words, even from an audio clip.   The guitars take this funky trip to where they border on the sounds of ska.    I particularly enjoy the mechanics as someone shouts "Danger! Danger!"   It appeals to me on a sci-fi level.   Transformers grooves take over along with the sax.   This brings about a sense of traffic, which is both the idea of vehicles driving and the band Traffic.   It's also both aspects of the word "horns".

Laser whooshes, frantic drum beats and those horns 'a-blarin' bring us through this... It's not quite head-bobbing, and it's not quite toe-tapping, but when I listen to it I typically have to stand up to move and my head tends to wobble back and forth (left to right, not up and down) and the rest of my body seems to be dancing along with the rhythm.    It's wild and unlike anything I've ever experienced before.   It's so freeing; I want to put it on and dance naked in the woods, isolated, but can just as easily imagine in painting the scene for some underground dance party. 

$5 // Edition of 100 // 

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