Connan Mockasin - Forever Dolphin Love (LP)
2018 repress; now on 180 gram vinyl. LP version of Forever Dolphin Love with bonus download code for the live version. Connan Mockasin has the kind of deliciously off-kilter and gloriously idiosyncratic worldview that rapidly proves addictive. Welcome, folks, to the delightful, slanted and enchanted world of Connan Mockasin.
Like David Lynch's willfully surrealist take on American suburbia, or Richard Prince's paintings investigating modern cultural tropes, the New Zealand-born, current London resident Mockasin makes beautiful music which subverts as it compels, challenges as it mesmerizes, startles as it seduces, even drawing fans as diverse as Johnny Marr and Radiohead to Ed Banger chief and ex-Daft Punk manager Pedro Winter into its wide-eyed, childlike exploration into the final frontiers of pop music.
It is all too rare, in this current climate of manufactured pop acts, grey, over-produced "alternative" guitar music and press-fuelled mania for the next-big-thing, to hear something truly striking and original, but a strong case can most certainly be made for Connan to be a true pop auteur, taking his rightful place in a proud lineage which includes past mavericks such as Joe Meek and Brian Wilson, right through to current cult heroes like Ariel Pink, Sufjan Stevens and John Maus.
Written from start to finish one hot summer, while camped outside his parent's church-like house in a tent, Forever Dolphin Love is an LP which brims with the beauty and solitude of summer evenings, a miasma of psychedelic tangents, jazz interludes and echoing guitars which hum with a distant, haunting resonance.
For apart from being one of the most singular musicians we currently have, he is also a brilliant and unusual painter, a gift which will be glimpsed for the first time with this album, which features a collection of wonderfully surreal paintings of dolphins, all bold and beautiful interpretations of the mammal, but evolved into human forms, smiling in gaggles, sometimes wearing clothes, sometimes swathed in pools of lush colors. Connan's talents also include recording, producing and mixing the entire record. It was this brilliantly ingenious approach to invention, and his masterfully unique charm that caught the attention of Erol Alkan, who signed Connan to his label Phantasy and released his first output Please Turn Me Into The Snat.