Saturday, 1 October 2011
Messyjess – Lunasea (Independent)
Messyjess aka Jesse Mortensen was born and raised in Idaho by parents who exposed him to an array of interesting musical instruments, the books of Tolkien and the music of Three Dog Night and Mozart. With that sort of upbringing, it was perhaps inevitable that the lad would develop an interest in the progressive music of the 1970s. “Lunasea” indeed harks back to the days when Gentle Giants roamed the earth and Hawklords ingested strange medicine and journeyed to unfamiliar worlds. I’m sure Messyjess would have made fine traveling companions, though I’m less certain that Messyjess (the band) actually exists beyond Mortensen’s fervent imagination. With Messy on vocals and strings, Olaf on percussion, Oscilla on bass and Theremin and Garuda on keys, can it just be coincidence that their initials come together to make ‘MOOG’? To add to the conundrum, there doesn’t seem to be any photos, except of Mortensen alone.
Most of the material on “Lunasea” is experimental, with plentiful beeps and drones, though there’s usually a song and a tune not too far away. I’m reminded of bands like Robert Wyatt’s Soft Machine and Jan Dukes de Grey, where ambition is everything, but there’s a hearty DIY approach to sound and music making. It’s impossible to recommend individual tracks, because that’s not the way the album’s been made. Instead, if any of the above is familiar, or you’re just curious, jump right in and immerse yourself in Mortensen’s world.