Sunday, July 12, 2020
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cover
Artist: Jerry Colburn
Title: Smell the Love
Format: CD
Label: Strip Mall of Sound (@)
Rated: *****
A self-produced and -released solo artist out of North Little Rock, Arkansas, Jerry Colburn provides many moments of brilliance with "Smell the Love", a CD of instrumental passages and interludes. Contrary to the title's riff on Spinal Tap, most of what you hear are two- to three-minute instrumental programmed drum loops that have a sort of hip-hop feel, festooned with Rhodes piano and organ sounds, and flavored with acoustic guitar and varied percussion. Although various influences are mentioned in his description sheet, to me this release is a lot more closely related to DJ Shadow than to Esquivel. The tones and textures are too diverse to pin him down, anyhow: mathematically idiotic chord progressions that somehow make perfect sense, passages which draw you into the plot of some intriguing movie even though all you have is its soundtrack. The music almost doesn't want to be taken seriously, but I insist it really is good, if you hear it through a good enough stereo and speakers (or headphones). Indeed, though, with song titles like "Buzzy the Squirrel", "Evening in Newark", "Shellfish Bop", and "Dildo Baggage Car", it's hard to keep a straight face, but that's probably Colburn's intent. And it seems that Mr. Colburn was a longtime drummer for punk, garage and improv bands, gigging all over his home state, until now deciding to move into the wonderful world of Experimental Electronica. Welcome, Jerry. (Although I have to dock half a star for the baby picture.)

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