They have released two Thrill Jockey 12 inches, Javelin, and Number Two, the demos Jamz n Jemz, a roller rink approved Health remix, music for art flicks. They performed at the Imposition at Longbranch Inn along with 11 other SXSW shows. Now, Brooklyn’s discount record bin-binging duo Javelin are about to release No Más, with reconstructions of self-made samples put to a Williamsburg beat.
Lead off hopscotch step “Vibrationz” evokes those good time vibrations that both Justice and the Go-Team! have banked both of their careers on. “Mossy Woodland” begins a cycle built out of the introductions to the Ronnettes’ “Walking in the Rain” and “Be My Baby.” The Nintendo keyboard preset beeps behind a squirrel rap squeal on “Oh! Centra.” The pong key plinks in “On It On,” bringing an upswing of some sophisticated tight knit dance groove production.
Samples of monkeys, cuts of horns, xylophones and zither synthesizers make up the cheery “Intervales Theme,” while “We Ah Wi” sounds like an ambient d n’ b chill groove fit for any apartment with those futuristic egg looking pod chairs. “Tell Me, What Will It Be?” is an organ heavy instrumental equipped with brass that makes you think of lazy Bacharach infused holidays circa ’68. “Moscow 1980” entertains their new wave sensibilities, “Merkin Jerk” sounds like fun with vintage organs, and “C Town” exercises their love for drum machine sequencing varieties. “Off My Mind” is a mid-day stroll that sings out of tune, “I’ve been out walking on the streets alone, something about you, can’t get you off my mind” put to a pedestrian beat. “Susie Cues” lulls you with lackadaisical early 90s style hip hop rhythms that sound like beats from a forgotten Arrested Development outtake.
And then the moment I had been waiting for, “Shadow Heart,” a big production with the duo sounding as orchestral as you have ever heard them. You would swear this was recorded at Gold Star Studios (had it not been bulldozed and a strip mall erected in its place). The track’s equipped with wind tunnel-echoed back up vocal samples, hand claps, a xylophone buried in the background and a parade of dramatic strings. Then a mélange of flanging wah wahs and more of that xylophone create the afternoon trip of “Dep.” The finale brings it all back home with washes of backward acoustic guitar loops chanting the title, “Goal/Wide.”
Tom van Buskirk and George Langford have shown the merits of what dollar bin diving can do for the development of the musical palette. At worst, they have created what will become the incidental music of the future; the sounds that might be played in posh hotel lobbies, music for escalators and inspiration for tomorrow’s revivalists.