Considering what she has done in the last few years, one might find it hard to believe that Joëlle Lê has not done a Greetings From Tuskan project in seven years, but it’s true. Fortunately, Lê has made some time to get back into the Tuskan frame of mind to create a brand new album, the 12-song The Love From Afar (Circle Into Square), released last week. You may stream it in full below through Bandcamp, and the album is available as a free download with a “Name Your Price” option so if you find it quite good, make a donation.
The abstract samples and synths used on Belgian producer Loden’s The Star Eyed Condition (Circle Into Square/Fake Four Inc.) makes you feel like you’re jumping out of suspended animation and are finding yourself swimming in a pool or stutters. Whether it’s the warmth or the coolness of the water, you are comforted by the fact that it’s water, so you’re comfortable but unsure of where the current will take you. You close your eyes, open your ears, and wish for the best.
If the song that begins “About Busdriver With Colors” doesn’t sound like a urine stream on a Quonset hut, you’re not listening the way I am. Then the song gets thick and funky with Busdriver dropping lyrics about “vaginal lips underneath the leather soles” and blending that with seeing things with such vibrancy. As far as seeing, Ceschi finds himself in “Ceschi Is Seeing Straight” and moves into a direction that is anything but straight and/or narrow. Joëlle Lê, know for her work as Greetings From Tuskan and with Buck65 in their Bike For Three! project, gets a chance to work with a fellow Belgian and go gallivanting in a brilliant song that crosses language and music barriers. Hearing Doseone in “Future Confetti With Doseone” makes me long for what was cLOUDDEAD but he still retains his nerdiness, sarcasm, humor, and dopeness that has always made him who he is as an artist. The album wraps up with “A Letter To A Future Kid From Sole”, and if The Star Eyed Condition makes itself somewhat of an optimistic album, Sole’s track almost moves things in a pessimistic manner. As the title indicates, it’s a message to someone who is too young to be aware of the world, or someone who doesn’t exist yet, offering words of guidance on what to look out for in a big and scary world that will probably be smaller and scarier in the years ahead. He closes the song and the album with the lines ““My only advice is to catch the tone in my voice/and know the spirit lives on, even when it’s strangled and put in a box/you might think you’re alone, but I can assure you you’re not/it’s how everybody feels before a society cracks“. It is then that you realize this isn’t only a message to a future kid, but a goodbye letter to our past and everything it used to mean, when meaning meant something.
It is then when you realize The Star Eyed Condition is an album that is meant to be the optimism of a young child, starry eyed with nothing known but who gives him or her warmth and comfort. It is then you realize the album is the type of album that could not exist on a major label anymore, not with musical freedom being something old people used to do for shits and giggle. The idea that someone in rap music could get down in a non-hip-hop manner seems laughable, even though rappers are doing just that but are killing themselves inside for the paper chase that ends up chasing, biting, and killing them. The album is something that could only be done in electronic music, which tends to tear down walls as a mirror towards the walls being build by many. The Condition of those who are Star-Eyed leads one to wonder if it’s a condition that needs to be treated, or does doing things automatically make you a defect of the once cherished human condition? The sounds here are fun and danceable, but it leads to a moral that involves thought. Like the old song “Find The Cost Of Freedom”, a cost that was buried in the ground, if mother Earth swallows us, do we have to lay our bodies down or dust off the dirt and try to survive in something that seems better to not exist in? Music with thought can be a very good thing, maybe this will be the thought provoker.
It is certain that Bike For Three! will have a new album. What is uncertain at this time is the title for it. This will be decided at a later date but for now, you are being treated to a song from it called “Ethereal Love”. I’m already liking where this is going.
As Bike For Three! put together elements towards their next full length album, they’ve decided to share the one song that is complete. It’s called “Full Moon”, and the possibilities of this song are:
1) it could make you dance
2) it could make you think
3) it could make you use your rap hands
4) it could make you cry in a corner
5) it could help you lose yourself in an echo chamber
Find out if you can come up with your own possibilities.
If you are a fan of the 2009 Bike For Three! project More Heart Than Brains, you might have been someone who said “man, I wish Buck 65 and Greetings From Tuskan would have dropped an instrumental version of this. You’re now in luck, as More Heart Than Brains Instrumentals has been made available for all to listen to and download for free. You’re now able to take a deeper listen to the instrumentals that were created, which is very much of value, however… you’re getting it for free.
You may remember the Bike For Three! project, which featured producer Buck 65 and Joëlle Lê. While Buck 65 is well known among those in the know, most may not be familiar with Lê just yet. This is soon to change.
Greetings From Tuskan ie Lê’s latest project, and she has an album due out later this year. “The Unreached Kiss” is the first track to surface from it, and it reminds me of what Seven Fields Of Aphelion’s solo album represented as part of the Black Moth Super Rainbow organization.
For possible hints on what the album will be like, check out the official Greetings From Tuskan Bandcamp page.