Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Jessamine - Your Head Is So Small It's Like A Little Light

(Sub Pop, 1994)

Exciting stuff here for people who enjoy the spacier corners of the 1990s post-rock ghetto. It’s easy to hear the influence of bands like Spectrum (with whom the group collaborated), Silver Apples, and various shoegazers in these records – and, in turn, Jessamine’s hypnotic, semi-Kraut groove is unmistakable in the work of later acts such as the American Analog Set, all of which hopefully paints a decent picture of what these guys were about. And those cumbersome song titles? Pure Azusa Plane! Like “Your Head is so Small It’s Like a Little Light,” whose mix of rhythmic repetition, sleepiness, and synths approximates Sonic Boom working with Damon & Naomi. Or “Soon the World of Fashion Will Take an Interest in These Proceedings,” which reaches back to the late ’60s to go for a Meddle-era Floyd creepiness. Long songs both, but good’uns. Plus: The elaborate packaging for this single requires a flathead to access the vinyl, so all you record nerds – if not handy, tool-owning grown-ups already – better hoof it down to the hardware store if you want to take a listen. Or I guess you could just drop a few dollars on Another Fictionalized History, a singles comp that includes both songs and, niftily, manages to trump the band’s “regular” albums as the all-around strongest example of Jessamine’s oft-overlooked music.

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