Welcome To My Dream
Nettwerk Records, 1991
REVIEW BY: Eric Atwell
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 12/26/1998
I came across this album indirectly during my first year at the university. In other words, my roommate bought this frightening CD called Welcome To My Dream, an album by some guy who had the nerve to go by MC 900 Ft. Jesus and put a scary picture of himself on the CD jacket.
The first noticeable attribute in Welcome To My Dream was it's excellent use of atmosphere. MC 900 Ft. and crew immediately set the mood in a room and never let up. It's a dark sound, punctuated by DJ swipes on the turntable (which thankfully appear in tasteful doses). Then I heard the bassoon on "O-Zone" and that was it - anyone ballsy enough to put a bassoon on a track like that deserves my full attention.
The first song, "Falling Elevators," incorporates an ominous bass figure that loops around a really nice jazz drum sequence. I suspected MC 900 Ft. Jesus (a.k.a. Mark Griffin) was a big Miles Davis fan (I would confirm this later on his album One Step Ahead Of The Spider, where he essentially updates "Shhh...Peaceful" from In A Silent Way) based on his use of melodic unison horn lines to accentuate "Falling Elevators"'s airy jazz feel. He's a bit of a poet, but thankfully he rhymes in an urban sense that plays to paranoia rather than sentiment or, god forbid...romance.
Another interesting track is "Adventures in Failure", an ode to a shitty life. To note: "Damn, I hate this job / to work in this place you gotta be a snob / everybody gets on my nerves in this place / I think I'll take the afternoon off from the rat race". This mutates into a day that includes, but is not limited to: stealing money from his wife, running over a baby carriage, flipping his car, ripping off McDonalds, etc. The key is MC 900 Ft.'s great tongue in cheek tone. I get the feeling the tale constitutes a fantasy rather than a narrative on reality, as the lyrics mysteriously end up back in front of his workplace, where he ends the song on "Damn, I hate this job...".
"City Sleeps" is a song to have around in case it's raining out and I have to drive. Talk about mood...the organ on this song is so laid back it might be too cool for some listeners. You may or may not remember this song, but I believe it was a minor hit. It's an ode to the arsonist, but more so it's an achievement in atmosphere. He gets it all right on this track.
The other tracks on the album offer up fascinating looks into the world of schizophrenia and the allegorical perfect gun. "O-Zone", as I mentioned earlier, has the excellent bassoon line (or is that one of those bass clarinets -- I was never good in band class -- too much AC/DC) that really sets the track (and album) apart from mainstream peers that might include, depending on your perspective, Beck or the Beasties.
Fortunately my roommate still has this album. I was able to take it for a listen in my car the other night. It was raining too. Unfortunately, I think it's too late to recreate the gray light and Milwaukee's Best décor of our old room in Garber Hall, but the album is viable enough to outlive those memories and establish a new identity within my collection. I don't know if there is higher praise, Mr. Jesus.