James Pants – Clouds Over The Pacific (Stones Throw)




Remember back when we used to think Beck a music weird polygot? Well Pants is a surreal crazed excavator of musical genres in comparison; raking the bottemless seabed of archival hooks, riffs and snacthes of forgotten dialogue to build an ameliorate omnivorous landscape of strangely eccentric beguilling songs.

By now you may find yourselves enjoying the mad experimental minefield of James Pants‘ latest self-titled LP; ‘Clouds Over The Pacific’ is the signature single lifted from it – accompaning the single release is three tracks not included on the album.

Cramped conditions and ad hoc circumstances have constrained Pants; his recent move back into his Presbyterian preacher parents home in Colorado, has led him to adopt a new working method, and encouraged him to record on a more humbling array of smaller instruments. The resulting tracks sound pleasently muggy; a vapour dry-ice of calming washes sweep along with the taut strecthed, time-delayed and manipulated beats. Clouds Over The Pacific is an 8-bit crunch fest of Moroder era Sparks and drugged-up Kraftwerk arpeggiators, played over a bizzare Tropicana feel melodic mess. Barcelona’s whimsical electro siren, Lucrecia Dalt, whispers a wafting, carousing evanescent vocal that disappears into the mist.

A similar airy and lucid theme is continued on the remaining trio of 80s weirdo viginettes and curios. Prolouge To A Ritual mashes up the movie soundtrack atmospherics of both Legend and The Hunger in an oscillating mindwarp through an electric soup of wrong; Sitting On The Couch Turning To Stone mixes esoteric newjack R&B with a Prince Paul orgy; and The Way She Looks Tonight reimagines a sultry soul balled from the early part of the 80s, shagged senseless by a reclause obsessed with Joe Meek.

By all accounts this is a truly a fucked-upversion of  Hip Hop and electronica, which defies categoisation. Pants has even had to conjure up his own desciptive term for his musings – Freshbeat – as we music journalists have failed. But what’s it matter when his great visions of a near future sound so damn good and mysterious.




God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.