Ost & Kjex

Cajun Lunch

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While only the duo's second full album, Cajun Lunch is just the latest entry by Ost & Kjex in their seemingly never-ending series of creations based around the simple principle of "well, why not this?" The Matmos and Herbert comparisons still have a place in terms of their creative impulses, but Cajun Lunch is its own bundle of joy that balances between relaxed easy grooves and twists of suddenly in-your-face experimentation, though not at a loud volume. The biggest change here comes courtesy of guest singer Tracee Meyn, who appears on more than half the album and whose own tones blend as a fine counterpoint to Ost's own distinct falsetto. Further, on "Seraphine" and especially the excellent "A New Deal," the appearance of some of Meyn's gospel-singing partners adds further kick. The two parts of "Bluecheeseblues" take an even further turn to the unexpected when the first song proves to be a guitar-driven acoustic blues number that sets up a near Tom Waits-like galumphing cabaret crunch. It interrupts the slick flow of the album in brilliant fashion, while the second part takes the lyrics and verse structure back into that flow without missing a beat, the skeletal guitar sliding over the rhythms just so. Add in the addition of musical saw on "Continental Lover" and further twists in the arrangements -- as especially evident on the excellent if almost haphazard title track with its call-and-response drama and break -- and in all Cajun Lunch is another spirited, joyful listen that promises yet more for the future.

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