“Listen – Lee Moses – Reach Out, I’ll Be There – MP3″
I’m back, maybe not at full speed, but back nonetheless.
The tune I bring you today is as close as I could get to the kind of explosive emotion I feel like expressing these days.
Between health problems and other serious, pending issues, I feel like kicking a hole in the wall (or the internet, as applies).
I’m not sure whether I said it here or over at Iron Leg, but despite all of the alligators snapping at my ass these days, working on the blogs is less a chore than necessary therapy, through which I get to work out some of the crap I’m dealing with (if only in the abstract).
Sometime last year (two thousand and ought seven to be exact) DJ Save One fell by to do a guest set at the Asbury Park 45 Sessions, and in the course of his very heavy set dropped a 45 that knocked me on my ass. I had never heard the record in question, but as soon as I hopped up by the decks to scope it out it went right to the top of my wish list, where it remained until earlier this year.
That record – ‘Reach Out, I’ll Be There’ by Lee Moses (which just happens to have a blistering flip side as well) – is one of the rawest soul 45s I’ve ever heard, sounding (even in the context of Moses’ other work) vaguely insane. ‘Reach Out..’ is one of those incredibly unique records that cries out for its own poly-hyphenate description, with elements of soul, funk, psychedelia, and garage punk jammed together, and occasionally at odds with one another in a two minute and forty five second explosion of energy that threatens to shatter the styrene onto which it was pressed. It sounds as if it were all recorded via a single microphone, with drums (and break, after break, after break), combo organ, guitar (Moses I assume) and vibes cascading like a rock slide, with someone (Moses again?) singing just loudly enough to register in the background.
There’s the feel of an inspired jam session to both sides of the 45, but after repeated listens it appears to be something more than that. Some 45s are the end result of huge amounts of planning and polish, holding in their grooves miniature epics (see Phil Spector and all of his various and sundry disciples), and you get the feeling no matter how fine the craft, what you’re getting is the fiftieth iteration of a good idea. Others, like ‘Reach Out…’, or Toussaint McCall’s ‘Shimmy’ are more like an aural snapshot, capturing a specific moment in time that could probably never be duplicated. That these moments made their way onto wax and out where consumers might get their hands (and ears) on them is – depending on the level of brilliance – occasionally miraculous (definitely in this instance).
I hope you dig it as much as I do, and I’ll be back with something for New Years Eve.