Beckett’s funk remains in his soul, as 8th album ‘Caller On the Line’ draws on 80s/90s late night radio for inspiration
Jon Beckett is one of retrowave’s grafters – an incredibly skilled multi-instrumentalist; he digs deep to weave authenticity into his concept albums and EPs, be that city pop, retro-funk, New Jack Swing; even (more than) dabbling in talkbox and rap (of an 80s east coast flavour of course).
It’s no wonder he jams with some of the cream of retrowave royalty, such as Yatte, Nevermann, and OSC. Meanwhile on ‘Caller..’ staple Beckett allies Rachael Jones (additional vocals) and Luca Ricardo (extra guitars and solos) can be found performing superbly as ever.
‘Caller..’ traverses the anthemic opener ‘Just Hold On (Erika)’, to the movie score-esque ‘Harbour City’, segueing to the smooth soul of cuts like ‘Night Liaison’ and ‘Caller on the Line’ – before throwing in his funky and fun Halloween single from last year, ‘Fright Night Fever’.
Jon’s motto is ‘what would Quincy Jones do?’, and it’s this kind of ambitious effort that drives Beckett to strive for his particular production sound.
The album is a cohesive and infectious listen across 9 tracks, never deviating into filler – every sonic in each song meticulously considered and selected. By rights, Beckett should be a much bigger artist in the sometimes beleaguered synthwave scene. But perhaps his diversity and craftmanship are just too much for some synth-heads, who reward more obvious neon arpeggios with repeated listens. But for this reviewers’ money, Beckett is one to catch live when you can, and invest in.
Written by Rob Dyson, FOREVER SYNTH