Essential New Music: Alex Cameron’s “Jumping The Shark”


Electronic music often depends on layers of synthesizers and pounding club beats to deliver its message. Alex Cameron and his sax-playing partner, Roy Molloy, take the opposite approach, stripping down the sound to a single keyboard, subtle bass loops and sax processed to produce unrecognizable waves of rhythm. Cameron’s vocals have a dramatic quality that crosses the detached phrasing of David Bowie with Nick Cave’s tortured rasp.

“Real Bad Lookin’” is a drunken, percussive waltz that describes a dysfunctional couple more intent on indulging self-destructive impulses than relating to each other. The ironically titled “Happy Ending” rides a bare-bones ’80s synth groove to tell the story of a guy who had to move back with his parents after his high-paying job went down the tubes. Cameron’s spectral vocals on “Taking Care Of Business” add to its throbbing sexual aura, complementing ominous keyboards that suggest a sinister carnal ritual.

—j. poet