Ade and his son Connan Mockasin announce their new album, It’s Just Wind, out digitally July 14th on Mexican Summer, and share the first single/video, “The Wolf.” Flowing both as one continuous piece of music and operating on its own auto-written dream-logic as a series of ten discrete songs, the album is, as you would expect, something else entirely; an unusual entity in and of itself, with music and an origin story that are as idiosyncratic as you can possibly imagine, especially for an album released on Ade’s 72nd birthday.
Summoned into existence by extrasensory perception – no joke, a psychic literally informed Connan that a project with his father had to be “made a priority, or you’ll regret it for the rest of your life” – the resultant music was always going to be something unique and extraordinary. After an actual near death experience for Ade which saw him flatlining for 40 minutes after a cardiac arrest, both father and son decided to make a joint album a reality, decamping from Te Awanga, New Zealand for the remote environs of Mexican Summer’s Marfa Myths festival in Marfa, Texas. In tow was a children’s exercise book of song ideas and musicians: John Carroll Kirby, Matthew Eccles, Nicholas Harsant and Rory McCarthy akaInfinite Bisous.
Travel-weary, knee-deep in first-night cocktails, and on the precipice of going to bed, Connan and his band spontaneously upped instruments and began playing together in the studio they’d set up to start recording the next day. And, in a stupor of which he has little memory (“I had a lot of nasty drugs pumped through me, my doctor at the time said it’d cooked the brain a bit”) Ade joined them, testing out bits of lyrics from his book, getting them wrong by accident, getting them wrong on purpose, cutting, sticking and ad-libbing through the fog, around Connan and Co.’s improvised arrangements, never quite sure of what the hell was going to come out next. When they listened back to what they’d captured on the 8-track the next morning, they found that they had, somehow, committed the majority of an album to tape.
It starts with the big, bad tale of “The Wolf,” a twisted, bongwater-and-panpipes spoken-word rehash of the familiar tale over a drum-machine beat, featuring three porky little shits and a rent-demanding lupine landlord. Tucked under the ruckus of jam, distortion, and wry surrealism, there’s also a quietly contemplative narrative thread to It’s Just Wind. The lines between the jest and the serious, the fictive and the lived, blur, as the plotline of It’s Just Wind coils gently around Ade’s own. There’s a quality of bittersweet self-reflection redolent of Bowie’s Blackstar or Cash’s American IV as an old man, from a point of slight detachment, surveys his life like a landscape. Both a lifetime in the making and utterly impromptu, it means everything and nothing. It is, after all, just wind.