Jake Playmo — My Favorite Toys
(Ozella , 2007/2012, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2013-11-08Who better to explore the concept of toys through music than someone named Jake Playmo? This is the German composer/musician/producer’s (whose real name is Jan Klare) attempt to broaden his audience beyond the jazz and theatrical realms he’s normally associated with. He’s assisted by his usual house band, Das Böse Ding (The Evil Thing), along with a variety of guests such as singer Katherin Mander and guitarist Serge Corteyn. As a sax player, Playmo weaves a merry trail through the eight songs, each given titles like “Matel,” “Ravell,” and “Barbie.” As I was listening through the album I kept drawing comparisons to Mats Morgen, who have a similar penchant for playful yet deft compositions that showcase superb musicianship while never alienating the listener. The production is adventurous, often mixing in samples from other media along with processed instruments to give the songs some interesting textures. The overall vibe is upbeat and bright with only a few deviations, such as the urgent rock drive of “Lego” and “Yps Gimmick,” or the introspective and contemplative mood of “Mb.” At times — and this seems natural — the pieces evoke the minimalist electronica of Kraftwerk, which Playmo and his cohorts employ to good effect on the closing track “Fischer Technik.” They really seal the deal on the deliciously jazzy “Barbie,” with Mander and Playmo both delivering superb performances. The whole thing ends on an appropriately playful note, perhaps inspiring the listener to reconnect with their inner child. It definitely leaves me hoping for more.
Related artist(s): Jake Playmo
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more