For reasons I cannot put in to words (mostly alluding to my unfounded stubbornness and general lack of intelligence) I’ve been secretly avoiding the band Rangers for a good, good while. In the midst of spell of musical lethargy though I decided I’d snatch their newest three-song project to see if perhaps struck a chord in me. Did it ever. One part John K.’s cheesy night beats, one part throbbing, raw psychedelia and a final part pure unfettered propulsive dance music, “Xochimilco” is as impressive to listen to as it is difficult to pronounce. Though the rest of the three song album (a collaboration with KWJAZ), especially the final few moments, devolves in to more sound experimentation than I care for, “Xochimilco” rattles and shakes like broke down ghetto-blaster accidentally kicked in to the middle of a rave dance floor.
The Rangers_KWJAZ split cassette Angel Island is out now on San Francisco’s own Brunche Group.
Rangers – Xochimilco
There’s a hint of Daft Punk’s Aerodynamic at play on John K’s “Lost In The Beat.” I can remember being in airplane over the Atlantic Ocean with an old friend and hearing the strains of “One More Time” through a pair of shared headphones, and thinking “Wow, this just rides the line of 80s homage and actual music.” And then sitting with the album for days and days and days in the muggy heat of Cairo, realizing that this transcended laudable imitation, this was near perfect, skewed pop music.
John K., especially on “Lost In The Beat” rides a similar line. There’s a hint of the recently deceased Michael Jackson floating in the ether, ironically enough, floating about with a musical number pulled directly from the tail end of an after-school special. It’s cheeky, cheesy even, but listen to it again, and again and again, and the layer of irony falls to the side, and in the middle there’s a stone of talented originality.
John K. – Lost In The Beat
Source: Chocolate Bobka