Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen is a DIY experimental recording studio which recently constructed a new location right across from Shea Stadium in Brooklyn. Historically, they’ve been big on these numbered series of music-related releases; this is the sixth in a series of compilation tapes, and they’re about to host their forty-eighth live music showcase at Brooklyn DIY venue Aviv. Head honcho engineer Oliver Ignatius came up with the name Dub Respawn because “everything is of a piece holistically” and “dub as a word generally denotes explorations in sound – copies are made and countless variations arise,” plus each of the tracks on this compilation is from one of the 12 projects which have been completed in the new studio since January. Thus, Dub (holistic) Respawn (new studio). Read and listen on to get the full picture.
The Graveyard Kids’ opening track on here is one of the most notable moments for me, displaying some nice atonal guitar comping and soulful female-fronted lyricism which categorizes itself as “contemporary RnB” but reminds me more frequently of Floyd/The Beatles with its drippy string parts and Ava Luna with its playful sometimes-non-musicality. Acoustically, everything is beautiful – you get a full feel for the kit, the vocal takes are absolutely on-point, and superficial add-ons like strings and keys give a richness to the recording that guitar and bass just can’t accomplish by themselves. I found the atonal grooviness slightly disrupted by what appears to be a standard Q104.3-style guitar rock track from the Dan McLane Family Band, but there’s a cool horn riff at the end, so that’s nice.
Goodman and Man Named Pearl flesh out some of the folkier moments on the tape for tracks 3 and 4, but I found the Man Named Pearl track to be more compelling and inventive. Perhaps I’m just a fan of reverb’d out vocals and washy distorted-guitar leads, who knows? The Radiant Reveries track which follows it is a bit more rhythmic, though still very rooted in Americana/old-time rock and roll vibes. We’re pulled back into suburbia with The Dregs’ punk rock stylings – perhaps not a mainstay of my personal taste, but certainly a welcome change-up on a tape which has had significantly more groovy and mellow tracks than overdriven and energetic ones (you can look to the Doziac track for more loudfastloud).
The female voices really stick out to me on here – probably because guitar music (all music?!) is so male-dominated. In any case, The Regrets are notable to me as people who organize a lot of diverse and forward-thinking Brooklyn DIY events themselves, so I’m inclined to like them better regardless of what their music sounds like. “Enough” is a minute-long ‘fuck off’ track directed (presumably) toward the male gaze, and you’re better off listening to it than hearing me describe it. They do words better themselves, too – “indiepoppunksingersongwriterfolkpolka.” It’s followed by a track from Long Island shoegaze-punkers LADY, which is actually one of my favorites on the compilation – you can click over the page yourself to stream it, though. Overlapping walls of guitar wail are always acceptable content for me.
When it comes down to it, Oliver really is the best at describing his own projects.
the document of a rebirth
fifteen months after the floods drove us from our cave
twelve months after the community came together
and the construction began in earnest
six months since since the doors opened
here is our document
our first twelve
Respawn Dub certainly showcases the eclectic variety of songwriters who have made their way through the Mama Coco’s family, but I’m not so sure it really shows off MCFK as an experimental studio. Tracks from the Dan McLane Family Band and the Harmonica Lewinskies strike me as sort of dad-rock guitar music derivatives, whereas ‘experimental’ music in my mind tends to break boundaries of convention both texturally and formally. We hear differentiation in tracks from Doziac, Graveyard Kids, and Man Named Pearl, but differentiation isn’t quite the same as avant-garde. In any case, if you like Brooklyn-based ‘anti-cool’ indie rock/pop/folk/punk music, MCFK is always a great place to start your search anew. Death to buzz bands, right?