May 14, 2012

$10 HOLLA #1: JOHN MILLS-COCKELL



(The first installment of a new series highlighting a pastime that scarcely needs a-budgin' round here: CHEAP RECORDS. --Ed.)



John Mills-Cockell

Neon Accelerando LP
Aura Records 1979

Periodically, the process of writing about music turns abruptly sour. Patterns, moods, production techniques & musicianship suddenly read more like symptoms of a pandemic threatening to engulf the whole medium, Blob-like. Every household’s got its own homespun remedy, but around here it remains a thick, oozing slice of stinky, wobbly humanity; the audio manifestation of Epoisses thrown together by your creepy downstairs neighbor’s uncle. For whatever reason, records like Neon Accelerando set me righter than a beaker of bitters.

Mills-Cockell was keymaster and chief composer for Canadian OOP RAER PROG SYNTH W0W band Syrinx back in the 70s. Here, Johnny boy gets waay more symphonic in his structures all by himself, wandering into scores of queasy, misty, magenta throw rug moments. “Maelstrom,” opens like the tourist lounge version of Wagner, modulating violently from thin library funk to gooey alien vistas. Track four, “Gateway,” contains what I can only describe as a back alley sax solo, spotlit by sparkly organ showers and shivering percussion. Such are merely candid snaps of the manic, perverse emotionality contained within. Were it not for the Euro disco production, compressing everything into the kind of fidelity one might find on a 9th-gen VHS of Galaxy Express 999, this might be a kissin’ kin of Lauri Paisley’s Fire of Dreams or, conversely, the awkward gamer cousin of a great many privately issue cult drifters. Which is to say, the reek of cable knit sweaters marinated in AquaNet and dog-eared fantasy mags is so strong it’s almost tactile. So go ahead. Fold the pages. Shake the can. Face the mist. Lose an hour or two lost in the land where everyone, it seems, is lost. Nothing, I say, nothing will seem generic for months.

1 comment:

John Mills-Cockell said...

what comment could possibly match such prose. keep it up brutha, jmc