David MacKinnon spent previous years constructing songs in a much more literal method than most artists. His melodies bellowed from instruments that had been soldered, hammered, fused and taped. They clanked and rattled with with raw energy that was only contained by the boundaries of plastic and vinyl hosts.
Now, MacKinnon uses a more conventional approach. His latest LP, The Past is a Foreign Country, was created in a style embraced by the jazz greats of years past. MacKinnon brought his wordless vision, a soundtrack to a movie not yet created, to a group of hand picked sessions musicians with the talent and delicate touch needed to fully develop the melodies.
The results speak volumes. In just over 30-minutes, MacKinnon explores several moods and moments. The LP opens with the title track, an uptempo thumper that hints at the political duress of afrobeaters like Fela (or maybe, more accurately the style and swing of Natham Lawr’s Minotaurs), but that frantic energy gives way to jazzy numbers, sparse dark moments, joyous exuberance and tender folksy introspection.
The Past is a Foreign Country is a film that may never exist, but these songs paint such a vivid, beautiful picture and ends with such a triumphant conclusion that I hope one day it will.
MP3:: A. David MacKinnon -