Matt Godwin’s “Fake Jazz” Moves Along At Vertiginous Paces

Have you ever wondered what it is like to be spiraling inside the head of an eclectic and somewhat lunatic electronic music artist, at the peak of his lunacy and creativity? Well, probably not, but if you find yourself wondering what the soundtrack to such an event would sound like, then you should checkout Matt Godwin’s “Fake Jazz.”

The tracks move along at such vertiginous paces that you won’t have time to catch your breath throughout the 35 minutes that Godwin has a hold of your ears. Each song has its own, unique canny melody to accompany the often non-rhythmic beats that would be utterly impossible to dance to. That’s why this album is the anthem for frantic, frenzied and slightly deranged geniuses; the music grabs hold of you, and you get the urge to do something like dance to it, but you can’t. You have to sit there while Matt Godwin rummages through your brain, smashing everything he can find, rendering you helpless to breathe, think or move for the entire length of the album. “Macaroni” is the epitome of the madness and mayhem he is capable of!

The drums don’t just bang, they explode and morph in ways that sound natural (almost acoustic), that makes it bewildering. The frantic beats somehow manage to stay soothing throughout, which is quite a feat, considering how intense and impressive they are. The melodies are clear, schizophrenic, and almost catchy, with something nostalgically familiar about them, that you’d swear you’d heard them before.

Very few independent, electronic musicians have come anywhere near to expressing the kind of complex personality that runs through “Fake Jazz.”  It’s actually hard to find the words to explain just how oddly revolutionary and inspiring this album is.

In my deranged state, I seem to grasp that the basic structure of the tracks on this album, aim to have pleasing, relatively simple and light melodies on top of disjointed, and interruptive rhythm patterns. It presents an interesting contrast and counterpoint throughout: the lighter melodies add structure to the music and the harsher rhythms improvise and entertain. The character of the instrumentation is thoroughly invaded by technologically treated, voice and vocal interludes, with traditional synth and keyboard sounds carrying the tune. The basis for the rhythms could be taken right off an old Van Buuren or Oakenfold album, but given the importance of Godwin’s rhythmic improvisation they are allowed to expand and roam free, making them become something else, completely different!

For some listeners, “Fake Jazz” this will take them out of their comfort zone because the patterns never last long enough to settle into danceable or head nodding grooves, but for me the effect is to keep the pieces fresh and the attention-level high throughout. There are no mental lapses allowed here or you might miss something and it’s all too good for that to happen.

It’s almost impossible to pick a standout track as they’re all excellent and follow Godwin’s standard eclectic format, but among my favorites are: “Fridge Air,” “Feel My Penis,” “Watch The Score” and “Funky Butt Dance.” Take note that Matt Godwin doesn’t mess around with the song titles either.

I’m going to keep listening to this crazy, electronic haberdashery for a long time to come, I am sure. Rush out and purchase this, if you are willing to abandon the customary pointless melodies, parsimonious commercialism and rubbish lyrics, for some futuristic, artistic flair.

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