Todd Modes / Serpent / Going Good

Going Good come correct with a collection of carefully crafted dance floor confection from Todd Modes – an E.P. from Detroit`s close-knit musical community and the house of the Rocksteady Disco crew. Serpent, in fact, might be twinned in sound with Blair French’s recent long-player, The Art Of Us – but then Todd was Blair’s best-man*. 

The set starts with spiritually shaken percussion, and then, with the first bass blast, stirs in screeds of bottleneck blues. Elephants roaring from within the jungle of its considerable cosmic afro-cuban groove. Cowbell keeping time with the 4 / 4 kick in a fusion of Kip Hanrahan-esque Nuyorcian beat poetry and KDJ`s Mahogani Music. Subsequently hitting a Salsoul roll as a sax solo takes flight. The axe letting loose lysergic licks a la Gary Lucas and Beefheart`s Magic Band. 

The title track slips into Rain Rituals, a sophisticated slice of sunset / sunrise jazz. The assembled live instrumentation riding, seemingly afloat upon, a gentle tide of tribal tapping. Creating a confident, unhurried calm, encouraged and urged forward by a rising group chant. Time Layers takes Hamilton Bohannon`s South African Man and stuffs its hypnotic grind full of whispered gris-gris, ju ju, and sampled shouts, as its looped foundations drop in and out of delay. 

The closing mediative Shedding Skin opens with ambient sequences – echoes of Transmat relics – before blossoming into a healing hand-drum ceremony, a beautiful beatless mix of Baba O`Reilly synth and Arthur Russell-like disco-not-disco b-line. The whole shebang, in its organic entirety, with its ever-present electric Miles (Davis) abstractions, possessing the feel of (Jon) Hassell`s Fourth World played at (David) Mancuso`s Loft.


*Todd and Blair previously teamed up for Going Good as Cosmic Handshakes.

Reference Links

Kip Hanrahan

Mahogani Music

Gary Lucas

Hamilton Bohannon


Baba O`Reilly

Arthur Russell

Jon Hassell

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