Chin Music, the debut EP from 27-year-old Long Island-based multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Andy Koufax is aptly titled because that’s where it hits you — right in that pretty little dimple of yours. And as you lie face down beside the plate, which up until a few seconds ago you so arrogantly and misguidedly considered your own, the starting pitcher is summarily ejected for his wanton disregard for human life, but he at least can hold his head high, knowing that the purposeful statement he intended to make has indeed left its mark, if only on one fractured jawbone.
An exercise in exorcism (of both personal demons and artistic inhibitions), Chin Music eschews giving a fuck about subtlety and sensitivity in favor of just plain going for it. Hence, we get Marvin Gaye and John Coltrane namedrops (on “Luna Melt”), extended Street Fighter metaphors about the protagonist’s love life (on “Unbelievable”), and a requiem named after the performer himself (“Andy”) followed by a stadium anthem cheerfully named for a local roller rink (“United Skates”), but written with all the lingering despair and succinct brutality of a Herzog film.
All of this, plus Koufax’s lush Logic-based production comprised of multilayered MIDI arrangements and equally ambitious instrumentation, is glued together by the mixing and mastering of maestro Willie Green, who is perhaps best known to us New Yorkers as go-to engineer for billy woods and executive producer of his magnum opus History Will Absolve Me. Also a talented drummer and beatmaker in his own right, Green, it would appear, was just the man to bring out the fullness and detail of these complex compositions, even down to their most minor minutiae.
Last week, Hall-of-Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax’s former team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, were rather ungracefully eliminated in Game 6 of the NLCS, a series in which some retaliatory chin music probably would’ve been warranted considering that Cardinals pitcher Joe Kelly fractured Dodgers star shortstop Hanley Ramirez’s rib with an inside fastball in Game 1.
That ship has sailed, but Tiny Mix Tapes is nonetheless delighted to premiere Andy Koufax’s own brand of Chin Music just in time for the Fall Classic. Batter up, bitches.