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Raz Mesinai - Resurrections for Goatskin

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Artist: Raz Mesinai

Album: Resurrections for Goatskin

Label: Tzadik

Review date: Sep. 25, 2003

I think I’ve realized why metalheads so often cozy up to free jazz as they age. Because after, oh, high school graduation, and certainly after college, most people who once felt like time bombs start feeling more like pinballs. And, as its detractors will surely concede, free jazz is as close as music gets to illustrating that feeling.

You may know NYC undergrounder Raz Mesinai from his work as Badawi, in which he recasts assorted Middle Eastern memes in a funk context. It’s deep, thumping, thrillingly sad stuff. Resurrections for Goatskin, his first “solo” joint I’ve had the pleasure to spin, takes those same ideas and struts bravely into the freeform freakout district. At least that’s what it sounds like to me. You might be able to take this jagged mix of rattling percussion, shrill, accusatory flutes and groaning strings, and you might be able to turn in an eggheaded thesis illuminating its traditional roots and hinting at its political context. Me, I love it for other reasons.

I put this on when it’s two in the morning and it still sounds like the upstairs neighbors are bowling. When I’ve arrived home from work an hour later than usual because my bus got caught behind Cubs traffic. When it’s too hot to jerk off. When the coffee gives me a headache. When I’m accused of something I didn’t do. I’m not sure I fully “understand” Resurrections for Goatskin, but I’ve listened to it dozens of times.

By Emerson Dameron

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