Ringing Pavlov’s bell ’til the dog dehydrates…

Photography by Mirjan

It was fun looking up information on SJ Esau while obsessing over his new album Small Vessel. I’m not all that familiar with the man, but apparently he’s got a long history involving “the Bristol hip-hop scene” at the tender age of 10 (10? really? c’mon, as Nick Thorburn sangs on the future classic, “kids don’t know shit, everything they learned is wrong”… What was he, like the Chris “Mac Daddy” Kelly of English hip-hop?), and as he’s made the move away from that world and into what the experimental quirky pop of his latest, it looks like the reviews, write-ups, and discussions just can’t help but throw every genre title they can think of when describing him. Here’s one of my favorites while looking for some purchasing & supporting links, this one’s from popmatters, “But he also makes sure to incorporate hip-hop into his music. He might be more slowcore, like Damon and Naomi, then backpacker, but both genres have equally and heavily influenced his music.”

What the hell is “backpacker”? To be honest, don’t know, don’t care. But I did like their little analogy, “that sound has been fully refined and realized on Small Vessel, an album that cuts in and out of tracks like a bored listener fiddling with a transistor radio.” I like that, that’s why they get paid the big bucks (or get paid at all). I have to agree, this album is many things, yet very fluid. His tinkering & experimenting, are used, not just to “tinker & experiment” but to connect and build. Connect pop songs together, like a connect-the-dots, the one where you think you know what you are drawing, but you never really “see it” til you draw those last few lines (see that Popmatters? I can bring the analogies too!)…

Well, however your define it, chamber hip-pop, collagist rock, caramel apples in a cup, it’s fantastic and I can’t stop listening…. Enjoy!

SJ Esau – 01 –
SJ Esau – 02 Frustrating

Ringing Pavlov’s bell ’til the dog dehydrates…

SJ Esau – 03 Small Vessel
SJ Esau – 04 Bastard Eyes
SJ Esau – 05 I Threw A Wobbly

Go show SJ all your love here, here, and here now!

2 comments for “Ringing Pavlov’s bell ’til the dog dehydrates…

  1. Amoreena
    August 6, 2008 at 9:05 PM

    Mirjan is my flickr contact! Her photography is so good.

  2. Tsuru
    August 7, 2008 at 6:06 AM

    She’s amazing, isn’t she! Love her work. I hope visiters go show her all the love she deserves……


    Nice to see some photographer love in the comments….

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