MOODYMANN - SILENCE IN THE SECRET GARDEN

2022 CLEAR VINYL REPRESS!

Despite his genuine confidence and happy-go-lucky charm, the music of Kenny Dixon Jr. is never without a feeling of loss. Between his stop-start sampling, happy-sad instrumentals, and allusions to “silence” and “taking away”, there’s an uncertainty to Moodymann tunes.

It’s the same kind of uncertainty we hear from hip-hop; sheer street confidence mixed with an insidious disaffection and desperation, that creeps along with growing up in a city like Detroit. “Keep in mind, DJing back then was just putting the fuckin’ record on, shut the fuck up, you’re not gettin’ paid, do what you’re told,” the artist said in a 2019 interview. Such a statement might seem too humble for a personality like Moody’s, but behind his trademark fishnet mask and wildly huge shades, Moodymann’s sense of grandiosity does not feel entitled or unearned. Rather, at the time of his debut albums and EPs in the late 90s, Dixon Jr. was just doing what he knew – putting up and shutting up, having fun, and brazenly working with what he had, with ‘the way things were’ in Detroit.

Silence In The Secret Garden, his fourth album, is seeing its first ever vinyl reissue this year via Peacefrog. And while it’s nowhere near as lauded as Silentintroduction or Forevernevermore, its every facet drips with the same feverish, unlikely jazz and beatdown moods you’d expect from Detroit’s trickster-prince. Here’s a lesser-known fact: the album’s cover, garnished loudly by a distinctive red rose, is inspired by a Temptations album released a decade earlier, ‘Special’, which features a near-identical rose on its own cover. Released on Motown in 1989, The Temptations were well into their confident twilight years by this time, and from the leading, slow-soul hit ‘Special’ to the driving new jack swinger ‘She’s Better Than Money’, it’s clear this music was the kind to inspire sheer loving confidence.

It does well to remove the listener from any sense of struggle, and rather plunges them deep into the blissful cloud of Motown fame, success and glory. Likewise, the rose on the cover lies neatly on a lush green spread, devoid of anxiety or urgency – safe. Now contrast that with Silence In The Secret Garden‘ which sees its own red rose plunged in pitch blackness.

Musically, it’s clear this isn’t your average garden. As we enter to the aptly-titled tune of ‘Entrance 2 The Garden’, Moody’s inspiration from live music rings truer than ever, with rushed and dragged hi-hats abruptly swaying the mood of a slap bass and pianojazz moodscape, barely scratching at its thick overgrowth. Whereas The Temptations’ sonic lawn was pristine and meticulously tended to, Moody’s is half-wild, and while sexily maintained, it teems with flytraps and the sultry stenches of carrion flowers.

MOODYMANN - SILENCE IN THE SECRET GARDEN

2022 CLEAR VINYL REPRESS!

Despite his genuine confidence and happy-go-lucky charm, the music of Kenny Dixon Jr. is never without a feeling of loss. Between his stop-start sampling, happy-sad instrumentals, and allusions to “silence” and “taking away”, there’s an uncertainty to Moodymann tunes.

It’s the same kind of uncertainty we hear from hip-hop; sheer street confidence mixed with an insidious disaffection and desperation, that creeps along with growing up in a city like Detroit. “Keep in mind, DJing back then was just putting the fuckin’ record on, shut the fuck up, you’re not gettin’ paid, do what you’re told,” the artist said in a 2019 interview. Such a statement might seem too humble for a personality like Moody’s, but behind his trademark fishnet mask and wildly huge shades, Moodymann’s sense of grandiosity does not feel entitled or unearned. Rather, at the time of his debut albums and EPs in the late 90s, Dixon Jr. was just doing what he knew – putting up and shutting up, having fun, and brazenly working with what he had, with ‘the way things were’ in Detroit.

Silence In The Secret Garden, his fourth album, is seeing its first ever vinyl reissue this year via Peacefrog. And while it’s nowhere near as lauded as Silentintroduction or Forevernevermore, its every facet drips with the same feverish, unlikely jazz and beatdown moods you’d expect from Detroit’s trickster-prince. Here’s a lesser-known fact: the album’s cover, garnished loudly by a distinctive red rose, is inspired by a Temptations album released a decade earlier, ‘Special’, which features a near-identical rose on its own cover. Released on Motown in 1989, The Temptations were well into their confident twilight years by this time, and from the leading, slow-soul hit ‘Special’ to the driving new jack swinger ‘She’s Better Than Money’, it’s clear this music was the kind to inspire sheer loving confidence.

It does well to remove the listener from any sense of struggle, and rather plunges them deep into the blissful cloud of Motown fame, success and glory. Likewise, the rose on the cover lies neatly on a lush green spread, devoid of anxiety or urgency – safe. Now contrast that with Silence In The Secret Garden‘ which sees its own red rose plunged in pitch blackness.

Musically, it’s clear this isn’t your average garden. As we enter to the aptly-titled tune of ‘Entrance 2 The Garden’, Moody’s inspiration from live music rings truer than ever, with rushed and dragged hi-hats abruptly swaying the mood of a slap bass and pianojazz moodscape, barely scratching at its thick overgrowth. Whereas The Temptations’ sonic lawn was pristine and meticulously tended to, Moody’s is half-wild, and while sexily maintained, it teems with flytraps and the sultry stenches of carrion flowers.

Grading

Mint(M)

Record Grading Guide:

  • Mint (M) – Absolutely perfect in every way. Never been played and usually sealed.
  • Near Mint (NM) – The record has been on a shelf between other records. The vinyl looks glossy and clearly has only been played a few times. There are no marks on the vinyl and the whole package is complete.
  • Excellent (E) – Same but I’d tolerate very light marks where the vinyl has been in and out of the inner sleeve a few times, or tiny signs of use generally.
  • Very Good Plus (VG+) – A few further faults are acceptable, but nothing that really compromises the record visually or audibly. A little rub, light inaudible marks, a little background crackle.
  • Very Good (VG) – It’s seen a bit of life, but is still usable. Light pops and clicks, an edge split, light visible scratches. You can still listen to it and enjoy looking at it, but it is visually and audibly USED.
  • Good (G) – To be honest you’re making trouble for yourself here, as Good means Bad. I’d only be selling something really desirable in this condition, with a bargain price and a full, no holds barred description to match.
  • Poor (P), Fair (F) Attempting to listen will be a disturbing experience. Expect major noise issues, skipping or repeating. The record itself is cracked, badly warped and has deep scratches. The cover is also approaching death.

Genre

Electronic/House/Detroit

Sample

#RICHMEDINA45BAG



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