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Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
Artist: Soul Junk
Label: Absalom Records (3" series)
Length: 5 tracks, 19:43
Absalom Recordings has done us all a favor with their 3" CD series, offering us some rare and unique recordings from a variety of bands. 1941 from Soul Junk is one of six releases in the "Electric Stream," which also features The Autumns, The Roman Candles, Unwed Sailor, Simon Raymonde, and Paul Mumaw (there is also an "acoustic stream," both sets available by subscription only). Unfortunately, this disc will probably only appeal to hardcore fans of Soul Junk, rather than help bring new fans into the fold.
1941 is purely an instrumental release, showcasing more of the bands newer, more electronic style blending lo-fi indie rock with hip-hop, jazz, and just about any other type of music under the sun, most similar to their work on their 2000 release, 1956. From the funky techno beat of Houston to the live organized dissonance of Achilles Eye (complete with trombone rantings), this disc shows the band in high experimental form. The disc also includes a 68-second "slo neck rub remix" of the Danielson Famile tune Rubbernecker, (Soul Junk and Danielson are musical mates through marriage). The 3" ends with the ten-minute Sulphur Puddle featuring the deejay maneuverings and scratchings of Chuck P. In addition to band mainstays John and Glenn Galaxy, this disc also features help from drummer Brian Cantrell and a lot of synth work from slo-ro.
For the uninitiated, Soul Junk released their first lo-fi full length under the title of 1950. Since that time, their full-length releases have climbed forward in years, all the way through 1956. Their shorter 7" releases have gone backwards to 1943, so with the title 1941 (havingskipped over 1942 for some reason), the band makes room for 3" CDs in their catalog.
The instrumental work is nice, but the band is at their best when vocals are included, and some of their earlier work, discs 1952 thru 1954 remain their best.
Ken Mueller 8/04/2001
1941 is a five track offering by the San Diego group Soul Junk. It is a collage of industrial and instrumental sounds that would be embraced by fans of Medeski, Martin, and Wood. The subtleties of this style of music are lost on me - I need lyrics to understand the points the artist is trying to get across. Basically, this is an electronica compilation that almost anyone with a good computer and a studio could put together.
Brian A. Smith 8/14/2001