…in 1996 the group followed up Friday Afternoon In The Universe with an even more deeply heady and dank offering, Shack-man. MMW as a group decamped to a remote section of Hawaii to record the album (via solar power) in a literal plywood shack where they channeled the island’s native spirits, “The Nightmarchers”, and the funky New Orleans voodoo of The Meters, along with a sprinkle of Europe’s rave scene. The result was something akin to “soul-jazz, hip-hop, and post-punk world beat”.
Mellotron Variations—the new collaborative project from John Medeski, Pat Sansone, Jonathan Kirkscey, and Robby Grant—sounds like it could have scored an imaginary, chimerical Stanley Kubrick film. The quartet compositions of the great tape replay keyboard of the 1960s were originally conceived of as Mellotron duets between Memphis locals Kirkscey and Grant, before looping in the Medeski Martin & Wood and Wilco stalwarts. Doing so expanded the possibilities to an almost limitless scale, but one that rooted in a serene, and often severe, neoclassical aesthetic.