Mantler “Fresh and Fair”

By One Track Mind on Thursday, April 8th, 2010  |  2,248 views


Mantler “Fresh and Fair” Mantler “Fresh and Fair”

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Nowhere does the passing of time serve a better purpose than in the arts, where reappropriation, pastiche, and homage are tools frequently pulled from the artisanal shed. The past ten years have seen the 1980s revisited in all their musical glory and folly, from the DayGlo electroclash bubble of the early aughts to the release, just this month alone, of not one but two Hall & Oates cover albums by indie acts. With each year that goes by, artists find more legitimacy and (unironic) value in the music of the ’80s, breathing new life into those sources of inspiration. Chris A. Cummings, the Toronto musician and vocalist better known as Mantler, has released three albums this decade and will release a fourth, Monody, on April 13th via Tomlab. On it, Cummings cooly incorporates some of what we can only assume are his closet favorites from that era (the aforementioned Daryl & John, Spandau Ballet, maybe even Simply Red), blending them with dashes of micro-house and electro-pop.

The resulting product includes tracks like “Fresh and Fair,” which echoes not only those ’80s FM stars but also contemporaries such as Morgan Geist, Nicolas Makelberge, and fellow Canadians Junior Boys (whose Jeremy Greenspan produced two of Monody‘s cuts). Beginning with a wobbly synthesizer loop, the song has a clunky, warm flow led by Cummings’ vocals, which are relaxed to the point of occasional sloppiness; there are more than a couple of moments where he seems to be missing the mark by a quarter tone or more, but this somehow only adds charm to the dyspeptic groove. Things are at their most interesting during the song’s final quarter, when more musical elements are introduced before free-falling through a blissful final section. There is something hard to pin down about “Fresh and Fair” that has made me listen to the track on a loop; I think it has to do with Mantler’s ability to create music in between sensibilities and genres, living in the connective space between sounds and tastes.

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Rate It Here:  My ears, they bleed!Never againMehNot my thangOne listen is enoughGood, not greatWorth a listenPlaylist-worthyThis my jam!Songasm!!! (24 votes, average: 7.04 out of 10)



2 Comments For This Post

  1. LULO Says:

    Tiene toda la cara del de Muchachada Nui

  2. Parinas Says:

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1 Trackbacks For This Post

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