Album Review: Connan Mockasin Please Turn Me Into The Snat

By Jacqueline Smith

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Connan Mockasin  Please Turn Me Into The Snat . Image / Supplied
Connan Mockasin Please Turn Me Into The Snat . Image / Supplied

Rating: 4/5
Verdict: A feast of originality for high-brow indie kids

The haunted house that local oddball Connan Mockasin used to record some of his debut album creaks through the album with off-beat lyrics and minor-key melodies.

This is his first release since Connan and the Mockasins disbanded and he moved to Britain. Since, he has played everywhere from Hyde Park - alongside the White Stripes, Robert Plant and Joanna Newsom - to London's legendary Durr club.

He has collaborated with Fatboy Slim. And, by the sound of things, let his imagination soar to unprecedented levels of wildness.

The first track, single Megumi the Milkyway Above, opens with the call of young children - "Hello Connan" - then takes the listener on a wondrous childish exploration of the earth, all snotty noses, curly hair and excitable yelps. Mockasin gives his distinctively high and nasally vocals (made famous with his old band Connan and the Mockasin's hit Sneaky Sneaky Dog Friend) a rub of alien treatment, to draw listeners into his colourful, mesmerising world.

Woodblocks fade for the second track, which will be his second single, the lethargic, warped and haunting It's Choade My Dear, and the album slips further into a dreamlike cartoon in Faking Jazz Together.

After a warbled harp-plucked intro, the melody collides with funky percussion and church-choir vocals - probably drifting through the clouds to visit the Sandman before duck-diving back through the windows of the echoey old house and sliding down the banisters.

Eerie church-bells ring through the autoharp in Forever Dolphin Love, and while the song reeks of 1800s nightmares at the beginning, a combination of harmonicas and spaceship bleeps lace the 10-minute-long track with some funky folk.

After waves of quivering instrumentals that at times seem to try to mimic silence, the album raises the tempo and channels an illicit gypsy party through Egon Hosford - one of three tracks co-recorded and produced by Lawrence Arabia. By the time the title song rolls around - it is the last on the album - listeners may either want to rid their ears of voice distortion, or be sprawled on the floor in a state of indie-happiness.

No one expected this to be anything but nutty, but after repeated listens and a mind clear of mature impressions, Mockasin, as we call him, starts to make sense.

-TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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