Mocean Worker- Enter The Mowo (Hyena)
review by Joe del Tufo

Track Listing

1. Chick a Boom Boom Boom
2. Only the Shadow Knows
3. Right Now
4. Shamma Lamma Ding Dong
5. I'll Take the Woods
6. Salted Fatback
7. Move
8. That's What's Happenin Tonight
9. On and On
10. Blackbird
11. Float
12. Collection II

When I first heard Mocean Worker's Mixed Emotional Features five years ago, it was a very welcome new beat. Finally someone was adding context and flavor to the never-ending do-loop that the electronic music scene was fast becoming. By integrating organic instrumentation, Adam Dorn's hybrid drum-and-jazz approach was at once both arresting and emotional, and took the genre in a desperately needed direction. Spin forward five years or so, and Dorn has returned with Enter The Mowo, a dozen tracks with such diverse guests as David "Fathead Newman, Bill Frisell, Nina Simone and Shivaree's Ambrosia Parsely.

Dorn's talent has never been in question, but it is his ability to reinvent Mocean Worker with each release (do also seek out the wonderful Aural and Hearty), that serves to make his efforts so impressive. Quickly we find that on Mowo he's been at the drawing board again. The disc opens with the audial collage of Chick A Boom Boom Boom. Mixing Fathead Newman's killer tenor sax, big beat drums, scratch and sampled voices, Dorns somehow makes a catchy track from a seemingly disparate mess of instrumentation. This is music that would fit wonderfully in a Tarantino film- it's hip, unpredictable and guaranteed to get attention.

Right Now soon follows, and is one of Mowo's numerous standouts. Sounding like a saxophone knife fight, it is both a clever twist on St. Germain, and a soundtrack for hot summer in the city. The breezy flute of Shamma Lamma Ding Dong (care of Rashaan Roland Kirk) plays nicely after the intensity of Right Now. The luscious vocals of Ambrosia Parsely follow on I'll Take The Woods. Lifted by cascading breakbeats and pulsing synth, this is certainly the most ambient track of the bunch. Parsely's vocals are melancholy and drift languorously above the digital sea.

If nothing else, it is Dorn's ability to seamlessly collage and shape sound that makes Mocean Worker so infectious and important. With so many artists clumsily cutting and pasting soundscapes together, here we have an actual artist mathematically injecting soul into his music, and producing songs that are not only technically impressive, but also well worth chilling to. On Blackbird, Dorn again takes a page from St. Germain, crafting a track with the late Nina Simone. It is another interesting approach, not at all obvious or revealing on the first few listens. Using subtle drumscapes and synth effects, Simone's passion on the track belies the fact that this is essentially a remix. There are many other highlights here, including the closing ambient chorus of Collection II, but I'll leave those details to the listener to discover.

While one can certainly argue that Dorn is simply taking jazz and making is accessible to a new generation, the reality is much simpler and more profound. Dorn is really a director of sorts, A Wizard Of Oz for a generation of music that is all in some way busted, and he's taking the best bits and creating a thread that connects them. On paper that may sound like an oversimplification, but when you hear it, well, little could be more elemental.


marillion- happiness is the road
tilt- million dollar wound
mickey simmonds- the seven colours of emptiness
ukz- radiation
pain of salvation - scarsick
icon- icon II, icon live
the pineapple thief- tightly unwound
planet p project- levittown (go out dancing part II)
nosound- lightdark
dengue fever- venus on earth
art of all- morgan
marillion- somewhere else
abigails ghost- selling insincerity
blackfield- blackfield II
damien rice- 9
the who- endless wire
the beach boys- good vibrations
the pineapple thief- little man
the killers- sam's town
tom petty- highway companion
hem- funnel cloud
emm gryner- the summer of high hopes
jeremy enigk- world waits
razorlight- razorlight
gps- window to the soul
iron maiden- a matter of life and death
thom yorke- the eraser
richard butler- richard butler
the flaming lips- at war with the mystics
ray davies- other people's live
david gilmour- on an island
nosound- sol29
jackson browne- running on empty 5.1
neal morse- ?
king crimson- 21st century guide to king crimson
shriekback- cormorant
depeche mode- playing the angel
pallas- the dreams of men
my morning jacket- z
riverside- second life syndrome
roger waters- ca ira
various artists- backs against the wall
riverside- out of myself
sigur ros- takk
killers- hot fuss
queen + paul rodgers- return of the champions
journey- generations
yes- the word is live
emmylou harris- heartaches & highways
van der graaf generator- remaster series
rob dickinson- fresh wine for the horses
annie- anniemal
dredg- catch without arms
foo fighters- in your honor
dream theater- octavarium
belle and sebastian- push barman to open old wounds
the go-betweens- oceans apart
porcupine tree- up the downstair (remaster 2005)
coldplay- x & y
nine inch nails- with teeth
aimee mann- the forgotten arm
van der graaf generator- present
christopher o'riley- hold me to this
glen phillips- winter pays for summer
new order- waiting for the siren's call
ben folds- songs for silverman
john doe- forever hasn't happened yet
trashcan sinatras- fez
adrian belew- side one
kaki king - legs to make us longer
longview- mercury
stereophonics- language. sex. violence. other?
for against- echelons
over the rhine- drunkard's prayer
kathleen edwards- back to me
kasabian- kasabian
porcupine tree- deadwing
the wedding present- take fountain
super furry animals - songbook
arena- pepper's ghost
snow patrol- final straw
rpwl- world through my eyes
tori amos- the beekeeper
kino- picture
monarch- the grandeur that was rome
spocks beard- octane
the wonder stuff- escape from rubbish island
richard barbieri- things buried
the pineapple thief- 12 stories down
the pineapple thief- 8 days later
the innoncence mission- now the day is over
zero 7- when it falls
pain of salvation- be
california guitar trio- white water
jelly jam- 2
tim bowness- my hotel year
van halen- the best of both worlds
glen burtnik- welcome to hollywood
charlie mars- charlie mars
porcupine tree- voyage 34 (2004 remaster)
saint etienne- travel edition
lanterna- highways review
hellboys- cha cha with the hellboys review
persona non grata- the fine art of living review
tegan and sara- so jealous review
guadalcanal diary- 2x4 reissue review
voices in the wire- signals in transmission review
roger waters- to kill a child/ leaving beirut review
luna- rendezvous review
jim white- drill a hole in that substrate and tell me what you see review
the drive-by truckers- the dirty south review
the blue nile - high review
lovedrug- pretend you're alive review
twilight singers- she loves you review
keane- hope and fears review
winds- the imaginary direction of time review
kristeen young- x review
asia- silent nation review
macha- forget tomorrow review
crystal method- legion of boom dvd-audio review
kevin moore- ghost book review
marillion- don't hurt yourself singles review
attrition- dante's kitchen review
rush- feedback review
tortoise- it's all around you review
division of laura lee- does not compute review
peccatum- lost in reverie review
iq- dark matter review
bass communion- ghosts on magnetic tape review
the push stars- paint the town review
virgin black- elegant... and dying review
marillion- marbles review
the streets- a grand don't come for free review
the veils- the runaway found review
all about eve- let me go home review
john young band- live review
mary lou lord- baby blue review
the divine comedy- absent friends review
pink floyd- the final cut (2004 remaster) review
prot-kaw- before became after review
jeffrey gaines live review
mocean worker- enter the mowo review
starsailor- silence is easy review
pineapple thief- variations review
lloyd cole- music in a foreign language review
david sylvian- blemish review
spock's beard- feel euphoria eview
guy manning- press pack sampler review
magellan- impossible figures review
the tangent- the music that died alone review
john gorka- live from grace church photos and review
hothouse flowers- into your heart review
charlotte martin- on your shore review
rasputina- frustration plantation review
stellastarr*- stellastarr* review
vast- nude review
sparks- lil' beethoven review
the damnwells- bastards of the beat review
dave gahan- paper monsters review
king crimson- power to believe review
fish- field of crows review
porcupine tree- in absentia dvd-audio review
new model army- great expectations review
antimatter- unreleased 1998 - 2003 review
catie curtis: dreaming in romance languages review
the gathering- sleepy buildings review
twilight singers play blackberry belle review
vienna teng- warm strangers review
opeth- lamentations dvd review
courtney love- america's sweetheart review
blackfield review
anathema- a natural disaster review
nearfest 2003 coverage
neal morse solo photos- metuchen, nj
porcupine tree broadcast
alpha- stargazing review
david sylvian at the tla
emm gryner at the point
barry andrews at the tin angel
tweaker:2 am wakeup call review
cure- join the dots review
fish live from the tla with john wesley
spearhead- everyone deserves music review
miles hunt (wonderstuff) live

full archives coming soon!


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