REVIEW: Monsieur Job — Música Para Mi Madre (LP)
Stabbing away at even the slightest suggestion of mundanity within the beat beside it, the melodic lashings in “Da Funk” smack the rhythm of the song as well as its audience around viciously in Monsieur Job’s Música Para Mi Madre. The jagged elegance of “Eme Jota” and “Red” is missing from this track, but the ferocity of “Collage” and “Uno Con El Mundo” is impossible for us to escape. Is it jazz? Ambient? Electronica-infused pop for a post-eclectic generation? The aesthetical brandings are hard to pin down in songs like these, “Corre Caballito — Remix,” and “Varanasi,” but that’s the whole point here — Monsieur Job wasn’t interested in making a genre record in Música Para Mi Madre, but one that breaks the rules every and any chance it can.
“Kiss the Rain” and “Thank You JESUS” have the most plaintive designs of any songs here, but their melodies have much of the same overwhelming eccentricities “Madrid 87” and “Irony” are made from. “Changes” is a strange hybrid of post-punk realism and the fleeting escapist vibes that come from vaporwave and other surreal forms of electronic music, but its lounge-style grooves wind up winning the lion’s share of our affection similar to the starry-eyed synth play in “Eduardo y Adelaida.” It’s all intensely hypnotic and a little charged no matter what volume we’re at, which isn’t something that I’ve come across in a lot of the less-than-ambitious electronic works making headlines over the past six months (and throughout the pandemic, really).
“Piel Roja,” “The Life,” “I Dream in Colors,” and “Spinner — Remix” could have made for an interesting EP, but joined with “Capri,” “The Guiding Light,” and “Corre Caballito — Remix” make this a really telling LP in terms of what Monsieur Job find credible in contemporary trends. Aside from a hint of minimalism in the synths we hear in “Rapsodia” and “Another Casualty,” this isn’t a record that says no to the indulgence other acts are rejecting left and right in 2021; instead, that indulgence has a role to play in most of the single-quality songs in this tracklist. Monsieur Job are truly going their own way in this business, and if you didn’t think so before listening to Música Para Mi Madre, I think these twenty-five songs will set you straight.
Tracks like “Backstabbers” and “Soul Slurp” cover the low-end jazz elements in this LP while “Dashat,” “Chinga Tu Madre,” and “I Dream in Colors” take us in a more fanciful direction arrangement-wise, but all in all I think you’d be hard-pressed to find another experimental album that has the kind of steady flow and exciting set of songs that Música Para Mi Madre does this August. I’ve had Monsieur Job on my radar since the Colombian outfit first debuted, but I think this is going to be a release that elevates their visibility well beyond their scene and the view of professional critics like myself exclusively. This is a superbly inviting record and, moreover, one that makes me wonder what’s going to come next for this project.