Three heads are better than one, I always say. Okay, I’ve never said that, but that doesn’t make it not true. Wax Triptych — a trio of producers: Jenova 7, Mononome, and Mr. Moods — hails from different parts of the world, but they create such similar music you’d swear they’re from the same neighborhood. While each is deserving of individual attention, I will ignore their individual efforts and focus on this masterpiece (yeah, I said it) of instrumentation and cooperation, their debut release: A Tale of 3 Heads.
The sheer variety of sounds is impressive. To get an idea, take out your metaphorical blender; add equal helpings of jazz, trip-hop, and swing; add pinches of psychedelia and turntablism; top it off with a few glitches and samples; hit purée, and serve chilled. It goes down smooth, I swear. To cite just a couple tracks…
“Moonlight Vibe” starts off slowly with a nice guitar riff before a warped voice sings about his trek up a mountain. The drums’ entrance reverses time to show us the initial progress before a profound bass line brings us back to the present. We see the peak in the distance, but feel tired so everything slows down. That is, until a strong horn carries us the final few steps. As we stand there, trying to grasp the feat we’ve just accomplished, another voice warns of rain. Right on cue, an energetic keyboard showers us in a downpour of jubilation. When the storm breaks, we gather ourselves and the bass returns for the return journey. As we stare out over the vastness, a violin underscores the beauty of the earth. When we reach the bottom, the violin is all that’s left, a haunting memory of a monumental journey.
“Streetwise” begins with a muffled beat and a lot of lascivious voices. An outspoken trumpet assures suggests a good time. A silky voice tells us to be gentle we’ll take things very slow. As soon as we feel confident, Jacob Marley (think Dickens, not Bob) bangs away on the drums with his chains simultaneously giving our adventures tempo and maybe warning us of the dangers of excess. Almost too soon, everything but the voices fades, leaving the distinct impression a good time has been had by all. But it’s not over yet. After a breather, round two begins. Comfortable now with our pace, we begin to notice the little things, like distant scritchy-scratches and twisted sound effects. By the time we finish, we’re lingering in the glow of what just happened.
Frankly, I was blown away when I first heard this album. Subsequent listens served not only to deepen that feeling, but to expand on it as new subtleties jump out with each listen. In short, you won’t need patience to like this album, and you won’t soon tire of it.
Wax Triptych – “Moonlight Vibe”
Wax Triptych – “Streetwise”
A Tale Of 3 Heads release page at Dusted Wax Kingdom