Woosamaquin – Judge. Jury. Executioner

Another release from Dysgenic Records. The project with the difficult name Woosamaquin comes from Boston and is handled by a guy called Lorrin Baker. Of course I could try to quickly describe the music on this debut album, but I’m afraid I can’t come up with something better than what is mentioned on the Dysgenic website: “Woosamaquin creates driving, lo-fi jungle breaks that penetrate involved layers of shadowy melodic ambience, unearthing those repressed memories of waking up in the trunk of a submerged Buick Skylark.”

Well, I don’t have that much experiences with Buicks, let alone its trunks, but the most important thing is that the instrumental music on “Judge. Jury. Executioner.” is worthwhile. Just as Vers, does Woosamaquin combine drum & bass with ambient elements, to create a rhythmic, yet atmospheric dense and adventurous style. Woosamaquin adds various orchestral and exotic elements to the overall sound. At times all your muscles are forced to move, while other moments make you drift away to undiscovered territories. The musical elements used are pretty varied and the compostiions are pretty unpredictable. Synthetic and organic (classical) sound sources are fused seamlessly.

On the first tracks the dynamic beats are rather dominant. ‘While they sleep’ is fine, although it’s very rhythmic the song is rather midtempo, with some exciting sounds and instruments in the background with a somewhat exotic feel, like the sitar at the end. The whole album feels like a colouful trip through an urban jungle. With every song you enter a new neighbourhood with other characteristics. Very nice is ‘Take the money’, with a bass riff which reminds me of old detective movie tunes. The criminal aspect is of course a recurring theme of “Judge.Jury.Executioner”.

With ‘Creeping’ I begin to get really hooked. The sound of a crackling record, water samples, low basses and an organ sound, and very nice laidback rhythms, which have a lot of tension underneath. After that it is time for ‘Payback’. A nice soft melodic intro, after which some very dry breakbeats follow. ‘Funeral for life’ is fabulous. Gone are the hectic beats, here we have a sacred atmosphere, lead by a church organ. Later some tranquil beats follow and melancholic orchestral textures, which almost make me think of a horn section. Layer is built upon layer, until everything comes together again. My absolute favourite track of the album. After this the very hectic beats of ‘Jugular’ spoil my mood a little. But this is easily cured when I hear the moody strings of ‘Neck snap’, which is despite its grim title a rather sweet melodic tune, swinging back and forth like a roundabout. Some sparse speech (film) samples can be heard, which return now and then on this album. In ‘Slow Motion’ the tension is built up to greater heights, some good dynamic beats against a orchestral background. ‘Ashes’ reminds me somewhat of ‘While they sleep’, through it’s exotic percussion.

In the press info I read the sentence “There’s not a single track on this album that doesn’t make you want to shake your ass in a dark, sweaty club located deep within the basement of a low-income housing project.” Well, this album indeed takes you more obscure urban territories and it does make you move, but for some reason I liked the calmer, orchestral pieces most. Not a record on which you can easily stick a genre label, but definitely a thrilling trip!

artist: Woosamaquin
label: Dysgenic Records
details: 14 tracks. DR0009