12 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Modern song-and-dance man Mayer Hawthorne and hip-hop maestro 14KT, both from the lamented Motor City hip-hop crew Athletic Mic League, team up again here using old-school beatboxes, analog synths, and vintage textures. Early-’80s synth-poppers Our Daughter’s Wedding and Berlin would’ve fought hard over the jerky “Faded Photograph,” down to the electronic string break and Euro-nostalgic bent of the lyric. Buzzy electronics are strangely sexualized on the Kraftwerkian “Half Moon Bar OK.” “Cubicle” features a wonderful Bryan Ferry–ish croon atop percussive jabs and synths that lift to a party-sized chorus whose throwback warning (“Don’t lose your soul in a cubicle, oh!”) sounds remarkably up-to-the-minute. A brief pair of Eno-esque ambient pieces (“Sincerely Nemis” and “Sincerely Nester”) provide album rest stops. There’s also a Motor City heart that beats throughout: between sonic nods to Detroit ghetto-tech, the song “Monster” features a chilly, groove-centric J. Dilla beat, and the title tune is wistful of an era when techno trailblazers like Juan Atkins were influenced by Detroit disc jockey Electrifying Mojo.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Modern song-and-dance man Mayer Hawthorne and hip-hop maestro 14KT, both from the lamented Motor City hip-hop crew Athletic Mic League, team up again here using old-school beatboxes, analog synths, and vintage textures. Early-’80s synth-poppers Our Daughter’s Wedding and Berlin would’ve fought hard over the jerky “Faded Photograph,” down to the electronic string break and Euro-nostalgic bent of the lyric. Buzzy electronics are strangely sexualized on the Kraftwerkian “Half Moon Bar OK.” “Cubicle” features a wonderful Bryan Ferry–ish croon atop percussive jabs and synths that lift to a party-sized chorus whose throwback warning (“Don’t lose your soul in a cubicle, oh!”) sounds remarkably up-to-the-minute. A brief pair of Eno-esque ambient pieces (“Sincerely Nemis” and “Sincerely Nester”) provide album rest stops. There’s also a Motor City heart that beats throughout: between sonic nods to Detroit ghetto-tech, the song “Monster” features a chilly, groove-centric J. Dilla beat, and the title tune is wistful of an era when techno trailblazers like Juan Atkins were influenced by Detroit disc jockey Electrifying Mojo.

TITLE TIME

About Jaded Incorporated

Jaded Incorporated allowed longtime friends and fellow Athletic Mic League members Kendall Tucker (aka 14KT) and Andrew Cohen (aka Mayer Hawthorne) to indulge in their love for the less-commercial end of late-'70s and early-'80s synth pop. Despite being something of a diversion from the Michigan duo's separate paths -- one with limited mainstream appeal -- the project was picked up by Casablanca through Republic, the label to which Cohen was signed as retro-soul stylist Mayer Hawthorne. It debuted in March 2014 with "Coconut Sofa," a single that seemed to be inspired by John Foxx's 1980 album Metamatic as much as Cybotron's 1981 single "Alleys of Your Mind" took from Ultravox's 1980 album cut "Mr. X" (a song that band released in the wake of Foxx's departure). Three months later, the album The Big Knock followed with a significantly wider range of references and a character of its own. ~ Andy Kellman

ORIGIN
Michigan

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