I would probably look back fondly at my youthful days in the ‘90s if I could remember much at all. Half of the memories were erased by drugs and alcohol, the other half by shame and regrets.
I have kept plenty of music from those grunge days though –the soundtrack of sweaty nights spent half baked in smoky bars and nightclubs– to bring the few surviving memories back should a nostalgic mood arise. Now there is also Black Powder from Jusbox and if the vinyl record for a cap wasn’t enough of a hint most releases from this house use musical genres as inspiration: reggae in Green Bubble
, soul in Feather Supreme
, psychedelic rock in 14Hour Dream
to name a few. Here Julien Rasquinet attempts to recreate the angsty vibe and “let it burn” attitude of the grunge days through the power of smell in lieue of sound. And burn it does indeed.
Countercultural music has never seemed to be too concerned about notes or harmony –from the singing of Yoko Ono to the bass playing of Sid Vicious– and neither does Black Powder. In this composition there are fruits, spices, woods and resins but everything is wrapped in thick dark grey smoke, not unlike the rebellious early ‘90s youth that only seemed to sense disappointment in the air. These kids in Doc Martens and lumberjack shirts want to light up their joints and set fire to the establishment in the process. They may be too apathetic to start a revolution but they can drag their feet close enough to that grunge musical bonfire where the regrettable ‘80s and the old American Dream go up in flames all night long. All the world’s a stage and it’s made up of highly flammable material.
The party will be over soon but the sentiment will live on. The column of ash and pungent smoke rising up in the air will be bottled into little perfume flacons and so Black Powder will be born. Spray that flamethrower with grunge abandon and let it all burn.
Now playing: Soundgarden - 4th Of July