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Bio

Connan Mockasin has the kind of deliciously off-kilter and gloriously idiosyncratic worldview that rapidly proves addictive. Once you've heard it, you can't help but wish to go back for more. On his rather unusual childhood activities: “when I was really young my mum got me a welder and just let me turn all the discarded pipes and rubbish on our property into a proper junk yard. I got really obsessed with carnival rides and ghost trains that folded up. Mum said a lot of the neighbours were a bit disgusted..."

   

 

Welcome, folks, to the delightful, slanted and enchanted world of Connan Mockasin. Like David Lynch's wilfully surrealist take on American suburbia, or Richard Prince's paintings investigating modern cultural tropes, the New Zealand born, current London resident Mockasin makes beautiful, off-kilter music which subverts as it compels, challenges as it mesmerists, startles as it seduces, even drawing fans as diverse as Johnny Marr and Radiohead to Ed Banger chief and ex Daft Punk manager Pedro Winter into its wide-eyed, childlike exploration into the final frontiers of pop music. It is all too rare, in this current climate of manufactured pop acts, grey over produced 'alternative' guitar music and press-fuelled mania for the next-big-thing, to hear something truly striking and original, but a strong case can most certainly be made for Connan to be a true pop auteur, taking his rightful place in a proud lineage which includes past mavericks such as Joe Meek and Brian Wilson, right through to current cult heroes like Ariel Pink, Sufjan Stevens and John Maus.

 

Written from start to finish one hot summer, while camped outside his parent's church-like house in a tent, “Forever Dolphin Love" is an LP which brims with the beauty and solitude of summer evenings, a miasma of psychedelic tangents, jazz interludes and echoing guitars which hum with a distant, haunting resonance. Somehow, a peripatetic past – which includes a decamping from his native Te Awanga to London to form Connan And The Mockasins in 2006, before repeating the trip again a few years later to restart as Connan Mockasin – has conspired to produce an album so unique a first-time listener may have to listen to it again just to take it all in, so powerful is the spell it casts. It exists in its very own, free-floating parallel universe; a world where lush psychedelia morphs unpredictably into Spanish salsa (“Faking Jazz Together"), breathtaking, short interludes (“Grandpa Moff") nestle alongside languidly unravelling epics (the title track) and above it all, Connan's feather-light, alien vocals gently hover – not always in English, by the way, but sometimes in their own, made-up language – tantalisingly, beguilingly out of reach.

Indeed, it is hard to believe that anyone who could dream up an album this strange (and strangely gorgeous) could have loved people as mainstream as Prince, Michael Jackson and the B-52's when he was younger, as Connan once did, but certainly, there is nothing about him that is conventional, nodding as much to people like Wayne Coyne and Micachu And The Shapes in his multidisciplinary talent. For apart from being one of the most singular musicians we currently have, he is also a brilliant and unusual painter, a gift which will be glimpsed for the first time with the upcoming album, which features a collection of wonderfully surreal paintings of the dolphins, all bold and beautiful interpretations of the mammal, but evolved into human forms, stood smiling in gaggles, sometimes wearing clothes, sometimes swathed in pools of lush colours. “I've never been that confident with showing people my pictures", he admits. “But I've been made to with the release of this album, which is good. I need that. I've always loved drawing". Connan's talents also include recording, producing and mixing the entire record.

 

It was this brilliantly ingenious approach to invention, and his masterfully unique charm that caught the attention of Erol Alkan, who signed Connan to his label Phantasy after hearing initial demos for the record. On first seeing Connan play live at DURRR in London: "He was completely out of step with everything else out there, performing some of the most beautiful songs I had heard in years, to hundreds of people in a crowded nightclub, and being able to silence them to the low volume of his music. Having that power is rare.'

 

Having previously released records for kindred spirits Late Of The Pier and avant guard experimentalist Babe Terror, Connan has become the first artist to release a full album through Alkan's Phantasy, a perfect home for an artist who will undoubtedly evolve and reincarnate (and possibly re-invent?) over time. Finally finding his feet with his own sound, Connan, who had become “sick of playing to people who didn't like what I was doing", returned to London, to discover a collective of like-minded experimental artists such as Micachu & The Shapes and The Invisible, as well as Late Of The Pier's Sam Eastgate (who Connan is currently working with on the side project Soft Hair), clearing a path for the once perennial outsider as one of the most vibrant and engrossing musicians on the map. You'd do well to clutch him to your hearts now.

 

   

PHOTOS

Connan Mockasin
Connan Mockasin
Connan Mockasin

VIDEOS

Faking Jazz Together
Forever Dolphin Love
It's Choade My Dear

NEWS

more news...

Anna Calvi and David Byrne cover Connan Mockasin

Anna Calvi and David Byrne cover Connan Mockasin

Anna Calvi and David Byrne made a cover of "I'm The Man That Will Find You" by Connan Mockasin.

Connan Mockasin live at Glastonbury

Connan Mockasin live at Glastonbury

Watch Connan Mockasin performing "I'm The Man That Will Find You" live at Glastonbury festival.

Connan Mockasin live for Urban Outfitters

Connan Mockasin live for Urban Outfitters

Connan Mockasin inaugurated the Urban Outfitters Live Series playing "I Wanna Roll With You".

CONNAN MOCKASIN "CARAMEL" OUT ON MONDAY

CONNAN MOCKASIN "CARAMEL" OUT ON MONDAY

RECORDED IN TOKYO IN ONE MONTH, CONNAN MOCKASIN WILL RELEASED HIS NEW ALBUM THIS MONDAY.

Phantasy team is on Tsugi's october cover!

Phantasy team is on Tsugi's october cover!

As Daniel Avery & Connan Mockasin 's album are being released this fall, the fantastic trio from Phantasy is on the cover of Tsugi Mag in October!

New Connan Mockasin track!

New Connan Mockasin track!

Check out Connan Mockasin's new track "I'm The Man That Will Find You" taken from

Connan Mockasin in Nîmes

Connan Mockasin in Nîmes

Connan Mockasin was in Nîmes a couple of days ago at Paloma festival

Connan Mockasin - Forever Dolphin Love (Erol Alkan's Extended Rework Version 2) Video

Connan Mockasin - Forever Dolphin Love (Erol Alkan's Extended Rework Version 2) Video

Check out this brillant fan made video for Erol Alkan's rework of Connan Mockasin 'Forever Dolphin Love'

New Connan Mockasin EP

New Connan Mockasin EP

The new Connan Mockasin EP is now available!

New Connan Mockasin video

New Connan Mockasin video

Check out Connan Mockasin 's new video "Faking Jazz Together" !

Connan Mockasin supporting Radiohead !

Connan Mockasin supporting Radiohead !

Connan Mockasin will be supporting Radiohead in 2012 !

New Connan Mockasin EP 'Faking Jazz Together'

New Connan Mockasin EP 'Faking Jazz Together'

Connan Mockasin 's new EP is now available !

Connan Mockasin 'Forever Dolphin Love'

Connan Mockasin 'Forever Dolphin Love'

First album of the New-Zealand artist discovered by Erol Alkan