Craig Clouse has made all sorts of music over the years. Disco, noise rock, dance, he’s done it all and now with a little help from his friends, Shit & Shine give us Chakin. There’s a groove on Chakin with brings everything into the realms of free jazz and funk. It’s like Roy Ayers meets Sun Ra by way of Morricone’s The Feed-back.
Limited to 400 copies on mixed coloured vinyl with different gatefold covers.
Double LP £19.99 RIP64
Limited coloured vinyl 2LP on Rock Is Hell Records. Edition of 400 copies in unique gatefold screen-printed sleeves.
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Shit & Shine go all out jazz for this double LP, which was originally put out as a cassette on Astral Spirits. 17 minute opener ‘Denim Do’s and Don’ts’ starts up with a rolling groove overlaid with syncopated snare trills and krautrock-filtered, Sun Ra style keyboard meanderings. The thing that really grabs the attention though is Pete Simonelli's spoken word narration, told from the point of view of an anthropologist bartender in some dead-beat neighbourhood bar somewhere in the US. Almost like a Bukowski short story, his disillusioned drawl sketches rough portraits of the broken characters who frequent the bar, like ‘the Corpse’ for instance, a pasty alcoholic with impeccable manners. The music and narrative go together perfectly, with a frayed-edge production that atmospherically conveys the decay and cracked existentialism of the subject.
Most of the rest of the LP is taken up with live session tracks from the ‘Chak’, some of which were recorded directly for broadcast on YouTube. These vary a fair bit and are usually based around a repetitive loop over which double bass, guitar (courtesy of Butthole Surfer King Coffey, as far as I can gather) and Fender Rhodes jostle for space. The most startling of these tracks is ‘TJC 17’, with a dramatic, stop-start, late-night acid-jazz groove that wouldn’t be out of place on Giles Peterson’s radio show.
Perversely, the album culminates with the entropic ‘Jump On The Feeder’, in which yawning bass creeps queasily out of tune and bit-crushed chords float around and bump into each other almost randomly -- it somehow recalls of Autechre’s ‘Confield’ album. Over this we get more narrative, this time all distorted and riffing off Henry Miller’s disdain for modern American culture, spilling over into a seriously dark revenge fantasy. Nice.
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