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Mixed Emotional Features

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Album Review

Mocean Worker is otherwise known as Adam Dorn, and when he's not indulging his beat-freak proclivities on his own, he helps his father Joel run the 32 Jazz reissue label. Among other things, this means that he doesn't have much trouble clearing samples, and he uses that enhanced level of access in a number of highly creative ways on this album. The most impressive of these is on the cleverly titled "Counts, Dukes, and Strays," an acid jazz tour de force constructed entirely out of samples from compositions by Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Billy Strayhorn. But he knows other secret handshakes, as well: "Times of Danger" is a pitch-perfect homage to TV spy-show soundtracks, and "Detonator" is an equally fine addition to the dark drum'n'bass tradition. He's swinging without a net on "Mycroft," which combines Sherlock Holmes dialogue with Hawaiian steel guitar, and he manages to pull it off. Almost every track has moments like these. This is an album that bears up under repeated listenings, which is not always the case with electronic dance music.


Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The ranks of jazzy drum'n'bass swelled considerably with the debut of Mocean Worker, the recording alias of eclectic producer Adam Dorn. Dorn's father, Joel, was one of the stalwart producers at Atlantic Records during the 1960s and '70s, helming sessions by Coltrane and Mingus as well as pop records like Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly," Bette Midler's debut album, and the Allman Brothers' Idlewild South. Adam, a bass player and vocalist, studied at Berklee College of Music and worked extensively...
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Mixed Emotional Features, Mocean Worker
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