For some reason my unconscious mind made a connection when I flipped past this 12″ over at Lucky Records a few weeks ago, so I went back to it and asked my man Gestur, “Is this the same Blake from B.B. & Blake?” He seemed completely unsurprised by that question and confirmed that the two Blakes were indeed one in the same, one Mister Magnùs Jónsson. It seemed an unlikely connection for me to make – we’d seen B.B. & Blake perform exactly one time, back in 2009, and as far as I know they only put out the one CD that we picked up on that same trip to Iceland Airwaves. That being said, it’s one of the albums we go back to the most often because frankly it kicks a lot of ass. Plus it makes reference to Robert DeNiro, so there’s that.
Magnùs Jónsson’s projects, at least the ones I’ve heard, have that great mix of the old and new, giving you something classically familiar, but with a new twist. The BB & Blake CD was like an upbeat version of 1970s lounge, and 2001s Asfarasfarcanbe is sort of the same thing, just more rooted in disco. There’s a bit of Bee Gees in the vocals, but without the over-shrillness that makes you want to stab yourself in the ear with a fork. I dig the beats, and the high vocals set off the medium, snare filled percussion perfectly.
I’ve certainly bought more valuable and collectible and scarce and whatever records this year, but Asfarasfarcanbe might be one of my favorite random finds, something I knew just enough to luck into. Quality stuff.