Hear The Track HereRather than barging into the front of the review queue as he has been known to do just lately, Thomas J (aka The Antennaheadz) takes the lazy way round this month. The styles that this artist has attempted this year has been amazing, whatever the style was, The Antennaheadz had some version of it. In that way, I suspect that 2007 will end up being a very, very good year for this artist. Even, gaining his first ever Must Have from me when I reviewed the excellent (if lo-fi) Loveless Blues (October 2007). His first, I might add in about 4 years of reviewing. Now that, my friends, is what is known as taking the long view. Still better late than never eh? Part of the reason that track gained such plaudits was because it was the first time I had ever heard an actual SONG issue from this usually most experimental of artists.
So, what's on the menu this month?
Well, Mr Panache is showing much more of the usual experimental side of The Antennaheadz, but not in anything like his normal fashion. Thomas J seems to have undergone a transformation over the past few tracks and - there is no doubt in my mind - is turning out the best music he has produced so far in his long career. Surprise number two is that Mr Panache is also - like Loveless Blues - an actual song but only in that kinda/sorta way that Antennaheadz material has that makes it so endearing even when its giving you a musical headache. The more I listened to the track, the more I got to like it, and I absolutely loved it the first time round.
Yep, that immediate. Who'da thunk it?
Mr Panache starts like some kind of hokey semi-C&W track; this being down to the banjo/vocal intro all rendered with a very efficient, almost lo-fi production but only until the main track kicks in. Right around 0:30, the whole track shifts gear and the main event will surprise even die-hard fans of Thomas J in all his various musical guises. I will bet any currency you like that you never expected anything like this. He's got some really lovely things going on throughout the track to make it more interesting and is - technically anyway - one of his finer tracks in any genre. Of course, it should be remembered that the artist we are talking about here has always insisted in taking his own path, so it's unlikely you will have heard anything quite like this. All in all, a remarkable track in many ways, despite its built-in oddity.
MUST HAVE for innovation. First class experimental lo-fi (Ed: eh?)