"It's only fitting that for Soul-Junk's auspicious 1960 release, the stylistically dizzying San Diego-based band has returned to the comfy confines of Sounds Familyre, home of their musically adventurous cross-continental kinfolk Danielson. Recorded at Danielson's New Jerusalem Recreation Room studio in South Jersey and co-produced by Glen Galloway and Daniel C. Smith, 1960 is S-J's eleventh album.
Although repeatedly, massively, fervently rocking out more often than any Soul-Junk record in years, 1960's crystalline/inventively fuzzified electric guitars and pounding drums (courtesy of recurrent S-J stalwart Brian Cantrell, a Galaxy associate since 1980s high school days in SD) tell only part of the sound-story. Having enlisted over a dozen S-J members through the years, vocalist-guitarist Galaxy is joined by eight others here for a suitably large-scale Soul-Junk ensemble.
Completing the core power-trio, there is thunderous bass from the moonlighting Emil Nikolaisen, guitar-playing front man for Norway's Serena Maneesh. There is spirited keyboard from Portland, OR's soulful Todd Fadel. There is ample cello from Jie Jin, a prized classical player active throughout the Delaware Valley and beyond. There is marimba and additional guitar from Joshua Stamper, a Danielson member whose overall charting/arranging skills were tellingly engaged.
And there are those voices -- family voices. Danielson Famile ringleader Daniel Smith (whose sister is married to Galaxy's brother) is joined by his wife Elin Smith and father Lenny Smith in singing out/harmonizing along. And contributing some colorful album artwork, there is Glen's son Jude, who joins his dad on stage these days as an estimable teen trapsman.
The Word, sound, vision -- family: Soul-Junk's 1960." David R. Stampone
By sheer force of flim-flam genius slight-of-hand, this outing finds Soul-Junk following up the critically acclaimed 1957 with a release that manages to be simultaneously more deconstructed and yet more accessible. This is the crossroads that Soul-Junk delights, dancing across the pavements and avoiding bus rides into the played out regions of the current electronic/hip-hop landscape. But rather they cannonball into pools and puddles unafraid of no diving rules and whistle blowing purists.
With a MUCH wider instrumentation / influence / and an amazing love of noise, Soul-Junk returns after cooking another potluck sized serving of hip-hop, sliced/diced/smothered and covered. From Gamelon influenced choral dizzy-clash, calypso-noise-fusion, baroque chamber music cut-ups, atari glitch funk, and campfire sing-a-longs, the album arrives with a juiced up sample palette and ground breaking production. Disturbing crookedness and collaborations with Kidnastypup, free-jazzer Daniel Carter and avant-trumpeter Greg Kelley, DJ Mizzicah, Bizzart and the ever elusive Prof. Kermit (aka Golden Poultry Error).
Originally self-released on vinyl in 1994Re-released by Soundsfamilyre in 2001
Soul Junk: 1942
Glen Galaxy's version of the story:"So we figured that if we could fly out for a couple days and book a couple of shows at the end to cover the flights, we could get an EP together. It worked. The line-up was a four-piece, plus Daniel (danielson famile) engi-producing and stepping in for instrumental cameos. I (Glen) played guitars, keys, and sang. The songs were decidedly organically based and away from the hip-hop and drum&bass elements of recent Soul-Junk long-players. Jon Galaxy played bass and also contributed blurts and spritzes from a self-programmed drum-noise generator of his. Sufjan Stevens was the drummer, also doing a few organ & bell parts and singing along in large male choir arrangements. Slo-ro was the wild card, weighing in with clarinet and banjo and electric bubble touches..."Daniel Smith's version of the story:"Glen Galaxy came with 20 guitar parts on a tape. Everyone was at their station around the New Jerusalem Recreation Room (my parents basement). The stations were separated by mattresses and ping-pong tables. The assembling began and it was flawless. My friends Glen Galaxy, Jon Galaxy, Slo-Ro and this new character Sufjan Stevens ploughed through many unknown territories...all I could do is clap along. We would work and then come up for air and then the whip was cracked and back to work. Day three and the deadline was near. Glenn still had to write and record his vocals. The trooper (that he is) stayed up all night writing words and parts and the next morning's "let's do it" completed this project just in time. Lenny Smith and Micah Ortega joined in the men's choir and Chris Palladino put on a synth part. I took these tracks and mixed them up and bounced them off of Glen. 1942 was born."