ADN Ckrystall - Jazz Mad [Other Voices - 2015]Jazz' Mad is a decidedly quirky & sometimes outsider tinged synth album from the early 1980’s- it blends together elements off-kilter synth pop, epic & at times spacey synth-scaping, and more unhinged/indulgent moments. Behind the ADN Ckrystall project was Érick Moncollin, who was somewhat of a self-funded synth geek who decided to create his own distinctive blend of synth-focused music- which at times brings to mind the work of more recent synth outsiders like John Manus & Ariel Pink.
Here we have a 2015 CD reissue of the album- offering up six rare & unreleased track, boosting the reissue track listing from six to twelve tracks, and a running time of seventy-four minutes. The release comes in a four-panel digipak- featuring rather messy, haphazard, and puzzling artwork- that takes in a line drawn cover of a man( I presume it's Moncollin) sat next to a topless big-haired women. Random texts, scribbles, monochrome pictures of Moncollin performing live and tiny cartoon drawings- all rather fitting for the sonic oddities within. This reissue had a fairly small pressing of 200 copies, but according to the website of the label, they still have copies left, and there's also a cassette version too.
Jazz’ Mad appeared originally in 1982, as a vinyl-only pressing on AND, which I’m guessing is Moncollin only label, as it’s only other release was ADN Ckrystall compilation album from 2005.
The album opens with “Cocina Vitamia”- this seven-minute track moves between an off-angled & marching main synth line, sudden & occasional more harmonic & bright note lines, and some nice spacey-to-higher solo lines- and from time-to-time, we get quite stern & slightly warbling French male vocals.
Next up we have the nearing ten minutes of “Pour Lamoure D’un Gygine”- which opens with swirling sea & bird sounds, pretty soon a regal & lush blend of bright ‘n’ swirling synth notation comes into play, this is joined by a cute & reduced-down tapping rhythmic drum pattern. As the track progresses we get elector harpsichord ornate-ness. At the fourth minute we kick into a tight marching beat & synth line- this is topped with more pronounced replaying of the original melody lines, and the whole things has a nice blend of cheeky groove & lush twinkling melody. As we move along we get some more jamming and at times awkward moments appearing- where Moncollin wonderings off point at a bit, which I found quite appealing in a quirk manner.
“HaschischT’es Pas Cap” is a wonderful wonky & lopsided blend of tight elector beats, deeper & rapidly darting lines, wondering eastern sounding top layer of synths, all manner of swirling effects, and deep & awkwardly wavering vocals from Moncollin in English.
With "Tam Tam Samba"- we get a dramatic & spoken word intro, before moving into bright & wondering blend of darting bright lines, pinging toms, and quirky lead line jamming. All in it sounds like the soundtrack for some 1980's scoped Sci-fi film, with day-glo backgrounds & hovering tin-foil spacecrafts.
The wonderful titled “Deutsch Napalm” moves between stern & almost Germanic like industrial like marching & vocals, bright almost yodeling vocals, and sudden quirky & space effect swirls & whooshes.
All in all Jazz' Mad is a satisfyingly varied & at times quirkily surprising synth-based album. I’d say you’ll have to lean towards liking the more outsiders & distinct side of the 1980’s synth-scaping/ electronica to get the most out of this. But I thoroughly enjoyed it, and still find quirks & kinks in the album, even after having it for a few months now.Roger Batty