I hate trying to classify music into particular genres. Trips to the record store have often left me flummoxed when I’m trying to find a particular album. Is it “rock?” Is it “pop?” “Alternative?” When I went looking for Mocean Worker’s fourth album, Enter the Mowo! at Amoeba Music back in 2004, I pretty much turned the store upside-down looking for it. It wasn’t in the “techno” section, it wasn’t in the “electronica”, “pop” or “rock” sections. Heck, I even tried the jazz section to no joy. After awhile, I gave in and asked the staff. Oh sure, they have the album… in the “jungle” section. JUNGLE! Ha!
The most ironic part about that was that starting with Enter the Mowo!, Mocean Worker made a move toward a jazzier, funkier sound than his first three releases, which were more along a drum and bass/dance style. It’s these latest albums, however, that have perhaps earned him the most acclaim. Even if his style is unique and genre-straddling, it is also extremely accessible and can be enjoyed by pretty much anyone from contract attorneys with eclectic tastes to my aunt Betsy who likes her Michael Bublé. All of ’em are people I’ve introduced to Mocean Worker and they’ve all run out to buy his albums. I’m pretty sure you would too.
As much as I’ve always liked his newer stuff, the first Mocean Worker album to catch my attention was one of his early drum and bass albums. Waiting for our parents to show up for graduation weekend at Syracuse, my buddy Josh and I sat around playing some Scrabble, listening to Mixed Emotional Features, MoWo’s second album. I was suitably impressed and before leaving town later that week, made a tape of the album (That’s right, a cassette tape was still relevant technology after I graduated from college… now I feel old!).
While I was unemployed for a couple months after graduation, I recall spending many afternoons with that tape playing on the cassette deck while reading about CGI scripting with Perl. Shortly after I got a job, I ordered both of MoWo’s first two albums from Amazon. In fact, I suspect that was the first time I ever bought music from Amazon (my order history only goes back to 2001); today, that’s the only place I buy music.
Anyway, “Somanyangles” is one of those drum and bass tracks that first got me hooked. I still dig that stuff quite a bit, but if it isn’t your speed, do check out some of his more recent work because I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like those grooves.
Somanyangles – Mocean Worker