Lord Tusk – Paradise Awaits
Lord Tusk’s latest offering ‘Paradise Awaits’ is an absolute belter mate. Pure mechafunk oddball Techno laced with, for want of a better word, grime-y soundscapes that owe as much to Chicago as to his native London.
The album begins with the intro skit ‘Riddix and Black Boys’. A sound collage, where unhinged Captain Beefheart flavoured guitar vamps riff over an arpeggiated synth. A warning to look out for a “black youth in casual clothing” fades abruptly into a sketchy dialogue over murky chord progressions, which I’ll transcribe here and you will read, all the way through, because it’s important…
Copper: “Hold up!”
Lad: “Who Me?”
Copper: “Yeh, you! What are you doin’?”
Lad: “Just Goin’ home”
Copper: “What, you live around ‘ere do you?”
Lad: “No, err, I live in Fulham”
Copper (accusingly): “Well you’re a long way from home. So what you doing round ‘ere then?”
Lad: “I’m not doin’ anythin’’”
Copper: “Well, you must be doin’ somethin’’”
Lad: “I ain’t doin’ anythin’! Just goin’ home. What’s the problem?”
Copper: “You’re the problem! Alright?”
Lad: “Why, what have I done?”
Copper: “You ever been in trouble with the police before?”
Copper: “You sure about that?”
Lad: “Yeh, of course I am”
Now, it may be my internet addled brain but this idea of power and abuse of power seems to be woven through ‘Paradise Awaits’. The cover is adorned with a painting of the red draconian king. Track names reference CIA Mind control experiments,₁, Babylonian lords of the underworld,₂, Simon Says (the children’s game of command and obey) and the Lemmings.
₁ ‘MK Ultra Waves’ is a mid-tempo chugger with a tough metallic rhythm. The bass groove rolls relentlessly, embellished with ever-growing three-chord sci-fi-esque synth patterns that drift overhead.
‘Several Thanks’ has a classic Chicago slow-jack feel to it. The bass swings. A dark presence, punctuated by sporadic stabs which imitate the melody. Heavily phased hi-hats circulate as the synths cut in and out in a frantic staccato.
My personal favourite ₂ ‘Anunaki Bashment’ is a mad apocalyptic dance. Big phased snares compete with twisted stepping chords that rise and fall in on themselves. Sounds direct from some dark future. It’s aggressive, it’s funky, you need this in your life!