Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Jim-n-Lisa - Missing Douglas

Hear The Track Here

Despite my devil-may-care demeanour, I'm quite a serious guy, especially about my reviews. So it should be fairly obvious that at the years end, when I start totting up and compiling what have become known as the Stevies, my decision on - say - Artist Of The Year would be thought about long and hard. In the three years I have been doling out these dubious rewards, I have had three AOTY: Nad Sylvan, Jim-n-Lisa and Maria Daines and Paul Killington in that order. All three of them have become extremely well known, and stupidly popular, which I must admit is extremely heartening. None more so than 2004's winner, Jim and Lisa Miller AKA Jim-n-Lisa.

Running alongside their excellent Pond Surfers collaboration with Alderman, Jim-n-Lisa have definitely kept the pot boiling with some terrific tracks in their own right. Lovely Walkers (June 2006), Jihad (April 2006) this year and God knows how many good tracks last year. So what do they bring that is so special? Dense weaves of sound, rock solid production and an often dark edge to their music that has almost become their trademark. Multi-instrumentalist Jim should be singled out here because the music is chiefly down to him, and shows a skill and maturity of vision few others achieve. Missing Douglas is an eulogy for the late, lamented Douglas Adams, author of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe, so you'd expect it to be a bit off the wall, wouldn't you?

If you don't know, the answer to that is 42.

'He must be, floating in the air, exactly the same way bricks don't..' Jim intones in the first few bars, and things get weirder from there on in. There's a difference between weird for weirdness sake and weird to make a point, and J-n-L use the latter method. Musically too, this is gonna be a little difficult for people used to treading a straightforward path. Even I was concerned that the track may well disappear up its own butt before it reached the end, especially when 'The tempo of this song is 42, it had to be for you Douglas' is the theme. I've known Jim personally for some time, and this is the first time I've known him to be fluent in alien poetry no matter how excerable it is. As it 'appens, it isn't bad poetry, because it certainly had me PML - as indeed did the whole tenor and tone of this remarkable peice of music. A truly, truly touching love note from - I guess - one madman to another.

Different. Funny. Touching. Completely tonto (Ed: I think he means insane) and a MUST HAVE.

(but you knew that already)

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