Phantasy Sound / Mexican Summer
Connan Mockasin = Bootsy Collins / Mac Demarco
Enter Caramel: a world created by Connan Mockasin, full of late night guitar tales that share awkward yet sexy dreams strung into life through Mockasin’s slinky guitar playing. The contradiction of strange and sexy isn’t so surprising when one considers what an awkward and sexy man Mockasin is in real life. He’s been known to perform on stage in bright kimono type pajamas, and to lounge in the same fashion during his regular hours. His fair skin and bleach blonde hair suggest that if Mockasin was edible, he might actually taste like caramel.
Aside from his beauty, inside and out, Mockasin only used his guitar, tape machine and a hotel room in Tokyo to make this record. You can hear the sultry appeal of a bright-lit Tokyo at night in songs like “Do I Make You Feel Shy?” On standout track, “I’m The Man That Will Find You”, Mockasin offers his version of freak-funk that’s somehow reminiscent of cartoonish Bootsy Collins’ solo recordings like, “I’d Rather Be With You.” The only difference is in Mockasin’s lo-fi delivery with the seductive vibes turned down just a notch. On said track, Mockasin slows and speeds up the pitch of his voice to create a wailing and moaning man promising his dream gal that he will indeed find her. At the same time he manipulates the pitch of his guitar to create a dream-funk landscape that slips in and out of consciousness as part of a bridge (around 2:40), which eventually, and in glorious fashion, leads right back into Mockasin belting his pleading promise of discovery. It's one sultry trip.
Caramel is a fascinating glimpse into late night wonderings and wanderings through the mind of a unique New Zealander known as Connan Mockasin, and though it’s not perfect, it’s certainly one of a kind.