Review: Connan Mockasin – Caramel
Published on November 5th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
Connon Mockasin’s second album Caramel frames his surrealist psychedelic soul in more of a sepia tint, its more oddball elements – and there are plenty – offset by flanger, wah, background hiss and spaced-out grooves.
The New Zealander loves weirding up the joint with pitch-shifting vocal overdubs, coming across variously like Tyler, The Creator operating James Blake by retro gear stick, Ariel Pink dreaming about being Marvin Gaye, and early Ween if they’d started bedroom-recording in the ’70s.
Apparently Caramel revolves around the subplot of a man falling in love with a dolphin, not that this is made at all obvious. There’s a lascivious ‘lover man’ feel to the album either in spite or because of the aforementioned weirdo vocals, but it’s too much fun and too gosh darn luxurious to feel disconcerting.
“Why Are You Crying?” is indeed plastered with the distressed panting of a girl crying, quite possibly because she’s just been ditched for a dolphin. We can but speculate, but we can see how that might rankle.
By the time we reach the end of five-part song cycle “It’s Your Body”, Caramel has become quite the inwards trip: “Thank you, Connan Mockasin!” repeats a Japanese lady over fairground keyboards, and we too are grateful for his ability to conjure sounds so sensually melty that you could infuse them into your bath.
It’s a bit like chillwave, but more perverted and engrossing. Stick that in the testimonials.
Caramel is out now on Phantasy Sound.
Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!