Still hibernating? Yes, me too. Now, I could be cruel and blast you out of your hammocks and have you on deck like the dishevelled bunch of ne'er-do-wells we both know you are, but I'm too cuddly for that. Instead, I shall grant you another forty winks courtesy of Mentz's Relocate, a little jewel of an EP that is smoother than a disgraced banker's defence lawyer.
Mentz, otherwise known as Stephan Raab, comes from The Hague and, unlike some residents of that fair city, is entirely innocent of crimes against humanity. However, he is guilty of producing some down-tempo jazz that is so laid back it's frequently roused from shop doorways in the early hours of the morning. You need proof? Your Honour, allow me to submit track no.2 from this absurdly soothing collection of four:
Yes, that was just one minute and thirty-nine seconds of coma-inducing jazzy bliss. Put it on a loop over the PA at the United Nations and the world will be a friendlier place.
For something a little livelier - only a little, mind - turn to Tumble, a smoky, brush-laden saunter through four minutes of music weighed down by little more than the odd piano chord, chimes, harp and some light percussion. It should come with its own table in a kasbah bar but instead you'll have to wait for next year's Apple conference and the unveiling of hard-light holographic drinking dens.
The final track, Shackles, drags the whole EP, tyres screaming, into life without parole for being a genocidal maniac second gear. There's a cinematic feel to it, thanks to the shimmering strings in the background and the reverberating hi-hat and cymbals. A trumpet wanders up and down a music scale looking for Harry Palmer circa 1965.
Finally, we come to Introduction, the first (heh) track, which lasts all of 34 seconds but still manages to hitch an extract from a strait-laced Xmas story to a smoke-wreathed jazz combo, thus making one cooler and the other holier. You can decide which is which.
Relocate was originally issued on the much-missed but soon-to-return Tokyo Dawn Records; Fant00m netlabel, in their wisdom, decided to reissue it (a rare thing in the netlabel world) and I'm jolly glad they did or I would have missed out on a sublime listening experience. It would be fun if they released more "lost" netlabel records of all genres, including opera. I hope so, 'cos then, if asked, they could say that they were Fant00m - of the opera.
Mentz - Relocate EP (link to individual files and zipped album at archive.org)