Mo Douglas - Fry The Onion Gently TDRCO-183
Every great recipe starts with a little bit of onion. That sharp and spicy bulb gets just a little sweet when you throw it in some hot oil.
Mo Douglas - the master chef multi-instrumentalist of Portland’s Ten Dollar Recording Co. - does it again, cooking up the groovy instrumental jams and bestowing upon our ears the best recipes for love, all on dog-eared pages fresh from your momma’s favorite magazines. Mo’s perfectly imperfect concoctions are hand-crafted to bring a smile to your face and open up your mind - psych, funk, soul, dub, jazz, garage rock, but most important of all a perpetual groove - swirling throughout the record as the flavors mingle. You know Mo won’t do it all alone, though: Mariya May drops in to “Dance The Long-Haired Dachshund” and even throws a dash of airy flute into the pot on “A Thin Slice of Zucchini;” Peter QB steps into the kitchen with his tenor sax to sprinkle some jazz and class into the mix for an overall chilled-out vibe; and Prince Joely’s synth on “Add The Bay Leaf” (Pt. 1 & 2) adds that extra little something.
Following the brilliantly hazy, lo-fi Society Women Go Slumming, the new Fry The Onion Gently is a more lucid experience, dragging all that freak folk experimentation, globe-trotting sonic spelunking, and bold experimentation out into the light for a high fidelity party from the first sax blow to the final finger snaps.
1. “Serve Piping Hot”
Kicking things off with a blast of smooth sax before launching into a hot, almost-Balkan groove, with little flashes of dubby twists and jazz departures as a warm up before the formal introduction...
2. “Dance The Long-Haired Dachshund”
The all-knowing, soothing voice of Mo welcomes us to the dance party, a sinister American Bandstand for the modern age, shake it all out and let it go, we’re here for the good times.
3. “Chill Thoroughly”
Hypnotic guitars take the lead here, with a subtle groove and a circular sort of meditation, we’re taking a little breather before heading up to the next level.
4. “A Lightly Greased Casserole”
Folk rock made a big mistake by not leaning more into sax. This one proves it - we’re on a journey here and Peter QB’s leading the way as the forest opens up to reveal a waterfall…what, you’re not seeing it yet?
5. “Add The Bay Leaf, Pt. 1”
This is Mo at the Mo-iest. Big bouncy bass, dubby guitars, groovy drums, and sweet synths gluing it all together as a sort of interstitial tune - taking a straight up shift to reggae that often feels imminent but rarely cashed in on, existing between the programs but no less important or crucial to our story.
6. “Wedges of Fresh Lime”
This one flips the vibe - similar ingredients to “Add The Bay Leaf, Pt. 1” but with a different feel, hitting some straight up reggae right off the bat, it picks things up in a bit of an unsettling way.
What are we in for with the second half of this beast?
7. “A Moderately Hot Broiler”
It took a turn. Mo is going for high drama. That sax lays it on thick, going for the gut with some heady 60’s psych rock twists and turns.
8. “A Thin Slice of Zucchini”
We can still hear that rhythm and sax coming through, lingering from the next room, as the acoustic guitars strum and swim through the ambience.
9. “Celery and Hazelnut Soup”
A deconstructed classic rock jam, yacht rock for a dank cave, folk music for the last night on earth, the groove is impenetrable and totally overwhelming.
10. “Add The Bay Leaf, Pt. 2”
An epilogue of sorts, a return to form picking up where we left off earlier, the track almost dissociates at times, pulled back in by that bass to get all the way to the end for some politely appreciative snaps as we find our way out.
released October 25, 2021
Produced, Performed, & Mixed by Mo Douglas in Portland, Oregon
All Songs Published by Hot Breath Publishing (BMI)
Musical Guests: Peter QB (tr. 1, 2, 4, 7, 8); Mariya May (tr. 2, 8); Prince Joely (tr. 5, 10)
Cover Art & Design by Ryan Massad
Description Written by Bryan Bruchman
pop portland or soul creative music dub funk garage rock groove jazz psych underground Portland