We’re not going to lie to you. When Montreal’s own Jeremy Petrus a.k.a. Mossa was first slated for a release, we had planned for our usual chunk of brilliance. But the work, the ideas, the beats and the inspiration kept building until our only option was to release this monster as a proper full-length. So, what we’re trying to tell you, is: we are honored to introduce Thema’s first LP-and our 20th release-Mossa’s “Festine”. It’s been nearly 4 years since his last album (an eternity in this scene) and there isn’t even a speck of rust to be found anywhere near this thing. Very few artists manage to create works of such a sprawling range of moods with raw functionality while maintaining a strong personal aesthetic. That said, in this, Mossa’s second album, the man’s many moods and influences are laid bare while weaving jazz, gamelan, techno and house into a soundtrack for the club, warehouse, café, living room, conversation pit, sweat lodge, brothel, and anywhere over or under the rainbow. If that isn’t enough, he’s brought some very special surprise guests along to the party. We hope to see you all there.
This record wastes no time in dropping the listeners deep into the recesses of Mossa’s grimy little biosphere. “Milou’s” downright thunderous beat drills through layers of sound to the dark recesses of Festine’s first half. The iridescent groans and beats of “Blush” and the shamelessly anthemic “Tough Love” rush through surly crowds in vast caverns. Following that is an appearance by our first two esteemed guests: Mathias Kaden lends a hand to recreate a solid, no-bullshit party pleaser with “New Tork” and the lovely Q-zen drizzles her sultry vocals over the throbbing ambient interlude “I Am You”, which makes us feel kind of warm and funny all over. As a sort of statement of intent, “Pirator” is one of those tracks whose sheer physicality outshines any explanation we could attach to it. Bouncy, joyful, exuberant-it starts at the top and just keeps building, upwards. Mike Shannon is kind enough to help out with some deeper, darker business on “Churros”, where the two mine the grime from earlier fashioning another kind of beast, one that stutters and stalks the dancefloor. Mossa takes this puppy out for another walk on the groovy, meandering “Burn Star”. The last strains of starlight vaporize as the crisp, bubbling “Java” clears the palate for more playful excursions. Dave Aju then gets to work slipping his corrupting influence into the mix for “Cop A Feel”, an earnestly debaucherous exercise in sweaty, infectious electronic swing. And one more very special guest graces this already packed party bus: Pezzner slathers his editing mastery over a chopped organ on the hectic and soulful “Virga”.
Now Mr. Petrus, completing the long weird journey all by his lonesome, finishes the LP off in style. “Romancing the Bone” deceptively begins as a revisit to the sunnier, bouncier elements of his sound but takes a sharp left turn into one of his hometown’s notorious “booths”. This is lurid, syncopated neon techno in the most swollen of veins. Remember to play safe, kids. And for the last groover on the record, “Buleria” caps off a long session of diverse body music with a beautiful syncopated six-string Flamenco reel. It’s one of the tracks that really separates our boy from the rest; taking folksy Latin elements and creating something cinematic and moving, something more than a colorful DJ tool. Whew–if you’ve a little overwhelmed by all the jiggling and leering and strumming, rest assured that your guide feels that same way, and is ready to accommodate your need for repose and reflection after a long night and very early morning of intensive indulgences. Festine closes sleepily with “The Last Kiss”.
And although this is a somber send off it eschews the lullaby approach and casts it’s eye to the bass bin, while you peacefully nod off to the sound of a mammoth heartbeat. Good night. Your dreams will be filled with the warm swooning strains of digital darling “Heather’s Feathers”.
released March 10, 2011
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