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21 April 2009

Air - '80º Below '82' (Antilles)

Source: Ross, in August 2002.

A new decade, a new label, and finally the Gauntlet of Air records comes to an end here at Dislocated Underbite Spinal Alphabetised Encourager Templates. Maybe this is a mark of my musical immaturity but I look at the 1980s as the Zyklon B of artistic jazz. It's kinda sad to hear the bug creeping into even fine purveyors of musical exploration such as Messrs. Threadgill, Hopkins and McCall but it's there. I don't know what's happened in the three years since Lore but we got them opening with another Jelly Roll Morton piece, smashing through it in an absolutely dull fashion. Things pick up a bit on the Threadgill originals but there's just a little bit too much sheen on things for my tastes. I keep this in on the shelves for the last piece, 'Do Tell', a circular jam with the bass thumping it along that reminds me a bit of Can or that one Buzzcocks jam. Its a bit lunkheaded (given the high pedigree of these musicians) and maybe that's why I love it. I think this album is some sort of conceptual work about Chicago freezing into stasis (at least from what I can tell by the cryptic poetry scrawl at the bottom). You always have to like a record that uses the front cover image on the back, only in negative.

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