Monday, September 13, 2010

Lord Newborn & The Magic Skulls-Self-Titled

The opening track on Lord Newborn & the Magic Skulls' self-titled album on Ubiquity tells you everything you need to know. "A Phase Shifter I'm Going Through" features slippery, bluesy, psychedelic electric guitar, a bubbling, repetitive bassline playing 12-bar blues, and shimmering hi-hats and snares — all wrapped in a loose groove that might have been an outtake from Jimi Hendrix's "Rainy Day, Dream Away." Voices hum along in harmony, and the entire track just slithers and adds to itself with the sound of sampled sitars, fuzzed-out guitar, more percussion, and breakbeats, while never losing its groove. Lord Newborn & the Magic Skulls are the studio collaboration between Shawn Lee,Money Mark, and Tommy Guerrero. Together they've responded to Ubiquity's penchant for psych-driven beats and grooves and come up with a messed-up, acid-drenched, rhythm-heavy mosaic of sounds, textures, open spaces, and EFX. The grooves are deep and dubby — reminiscent of some of Lee's work with Clutchy Hopkins and his own middle-period recordings. Money Mark's killer instrumental work is very similar to the stuff he did for Mo' Wax. And what can you say about former skateboard champ turned rocker Tommy Guerrero? The instrumental work here resembles — at least texturally — his Soul Food Tacqueria album. Soul-jazz and early soul-esque funk are all wrapped up and layered inside the rockist stance. The set's best cuts are the opener, the beautifully woven "Rainy Day Dog" (check out those flute sounds), the completely flipped-out and acid-inspired "L.I.V.E," and the dubby funk of "Ancient Scrolls." Hopefully this isn't a one-off and these cats can find time to work together again; while what's here is deeply satisfying, the possibilities they introduce on this set are nearly limitless. by Thom Jurek (AMG)

Click Title for Link

No comments: