STINKY JIM :: IT'S NOT WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE
After literally aeons spent making music with illustrious others in the likes of Unitone HiFi, Soundproof and Phase 5, Round Trip Mars gaffer Stinky Jim has finally corralled his plumpest solo jointlets together to create It’s Not What It Sounds Like. The chosen ten were written and recorded, poked and prodded, packed and pored over in Jim’s West Auckland bunker before being taken down to the Otago Peninsula for a mammoth mix and mastering session with long time spar Angus McNaughton, at his Auralux audio retreat.
Inevitably there’s a reggaematical role call with cuts like the introductory grin inducers Flingers & Flayers, Lemonde and #1 SRN hit Frying Symbols all highlighting Jim’s lifelong love and support of Jamaican sound, in a cheerfully inauthentic style and fashion. Matters head off-track elsewhere with Emperor Ground, Personal Space and Sound > Pan, discuss transporting the dubwise environment into slo-mo manoeuvres, woozy atmospheres and unfamiliar machinations. Dancers need not apply. LMG (For Irene), Hamlet Momentito and Shifta Situation all come with chintzy vintage drum machine movements, double bass (of a different kind) and the strong whiff of far too many hours spent scouring op shops to find that one blinding tune on some beat up LP. Calling last orders, Stunted Orbis rides a Big O inspired beat, strident horns, shards of skanks and some Berlin-era synths just to throw a few final confusing and contrary crucial elements into the stinking stew.
Described as ‘consistently excellent’ in The Wire magazine and garnering airplay locally and internationally, perhaps the album is best described by Graham Reid at Elsewhere “Ladies and gentlemen we are floating in Jim’s headspace. Very nice place to be.’
It’s not what it looks like either.