To say that Mo Douglas' new cassette Society Women Go Slumming cannot be easily boxed in is kind of putting it lightly. Mo’s characteristic songwriting manages to transcend any preconceived genre parameters, transmuting musical lead into gold with an eccentric and completely localized admixture of freaknik folk, filmic soundscape, dub reggae, and lo-fi aesthetics that rattles and hums with the bohemian vibes of his home base of Portland, Oregon. Society Women Go Slumming’s twelve tracks pull up anchor and abandon port for the wide open sea of instrumental music, along the way navigating through island-hopping electro-psychedelia, demonstrating Mo’s ability to take simple ideas and package them in interesting and unforeseen ways, building on the original melodic iteration until a particular line or phrase is stuck in your head for days.
Mo’s ear for melody and his equally adept and yet workingman’s musicianship make for engaging, and better yet endearing, listening, as demonstrated across a pile of such records that he’s managed to release over the past handful of years on his Portland-based Ten Dollar Recording Company label. Renouncing any notion of trend aping, Mo’s songwriting is often as refreshing as it is idiosyncratic, and any tuned-in listener will surely find much to enjoy here. Coupled with haunting guest vocals on select tracks from label mates Mariya May and Prince Joely, Society Women Go Slumming is often ethereal in its approach, eddying as it does between earthy backroom psych, natty day-glo dub, and fragile lines of folk whimsy. Society Women Go Slumming is bound to get your head on straight, so get to it already. (Reed Burnam)
released April 15, 2021
mo douglas: instruments, production, mixing (all tracks)