Thursday, 14 September 2017

Jackson - Keep Swimming (Video)

Jackson - Keep Swimming

In an age of rapidly shrinking revenues and dying platforms for unsigned and new artists, there's an understandable shift of focus for those attempting to fulfill their musical dreams. After all, everyone needs to put food on the table.
Artists find the lure of the crowd-pleaser difficult to resist. Bands across the world find that cover song they used to close with is the only song anyone seems to want to hear nowadays... so they do another. And another. And soon enough their set is predominantly covers, with the odd original apologetically thrown in.
It's hard to blame them - Money is king, yet doesn't grow on trees. Plus, if money is King, in the musical landscape Nostalgia would have a fairly strong claim to the throne were Money to suffer an impromptu death. Edits, Remixes, Covers, and Reissues all easily outstrip sales of new music.
So we could forgive Jackson for toning down their idiosyncracy, smoothing out their edges and delivering their 3rd record as a smooth jazz/funk record with pop stylings. And of course a few covers.

That would, however, be predictable, dull and disappointing to these pages, as you'll know from my full EP review here. We love music that sticks to its guns and Jackson shows absolutely no sign of compromising.

Kicking off with 5 x DMC Champion scratch-master-cum-vocalist Asian Hawk, Keep Swimming immediately melds some incredibly disaparate sounds. The vocals have been likened to Jamiroquai but could just as easily be from an early 90s Mudhoney record. Cuts like an experimental DJ Shadow joint. Beats in 3/4 and mesmeric, loping instrumentatin a la Art Ensemble of Chicago or Pharoah Sanders, plus distorted guitars that could come from an early Tool record... it shouldn't really work, but it's glorious.
Giving a deserved platform to the exceptional performance calibre Jackson have at their disposal, the video, in contrast to its soundtrack, is unfussy and played with a straight bat - simple portraiture of a band at the top of their game.

Buy Jackson - Push Through Here: Bandcamp / iTunes

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