Lately, there is no local musician that typifies the "local boy made good" idea more than Broward County native Jordy Asher. Dude has seriously hit the big time since moving to New York City a few years back. He's been known to County Grind readers for quite a while for his work with such sonic forces as Blonds, Young Circles, Blond Fuzz and Stonefox. But on the national level, Asher came out of seemingly nowhere to produce and write a significant portion of Queen Bey's impressive 2013 effort Beyonce. Not many people we know go from playing local dives in Lake Worth one minute to, in a matter of months, landing on the credits of the album from one of the music industry's biggest players.
Under the new nom de plume Boots, Asher quickly caught the world's attention. Who was this mysterious producer with the great footwear? Although somewhat begrudgingly, Boots' identity was unveiled (in part due to our recognition of his hirsute mug on one of Boots promo shots). Asher has really branched out since his work with Beyonce (for which he earned an Album of the Year Grammy), working with such a diverse range of artists as Run the Jewels, FKA Twigs, and Autolux.
Boots is ready to make his mark on his own now. He's set to release his first commercial album under his own name, an EP-length soundtrack for a mini-movie titled Motorcycle Jesus. You can watch the entire 30 minute piece, the first of its kind to be presented in 4K HD (2160p) format (we take it this is a huge deal, right movie nerds?), here.
The film is a conceptual work created by Asher himself, and features five original Boots songs, plus new music by El-P and Carla Azar. About the piece, Boots has stated publicly:
"This film was created out of necessity... While I'm alive -- while I'm here, I want to find a way to leave my own drawings on the insides of caves. Someone will find them."
Boots does do a ton of soul-searching in the 30 minutes of wandering in Motorcycle Jesus. With an apocalyptic air, and set in the Mojave Desert, the video has a Mad Max-meets-Jim Morrison's ghost in Wayne's World quality.
The music contained is exceptional, no surprise there given Asher's undeniable talent. It takes a while for matters to pick up however, but five minutes in there is a song that comes with an industrial pounce and reverb, charged vocals that are not unlike his work with experimental troupe Young Circles. The names of the songs haven't quite been released yet, so we can only offer up nameless descriptives.
The other numbers heard here are also rather full-throttle. With elements of the cinematic post-rock of groups like Explosions in the Sky, and the black leather charge of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and the dense melodica of Mars Volta, this effort is a much more resounding raucous affair than the downtempoed nature of Boots' debut solo mixtape, WinterSpringSummerFall.
As for the cinematic quality of the flick, how viewers will like this work depends on their patience and appreciation of slow-moving artsy films. Early on, there's a little action, as a hairy guy on a motorcycle makes an appearance and someone gets a beat down. At some point near the end, Asher gives himself a rather asymmetrical Mohawk buzz cut. His nice dusty leather boots are featured prominently at about 22:50. (We wonder if shots of his footwear will become a trademark? Fingers crossed.)
There is a forceful, perilous ending however for those that hang on, and a whole lot of Asher featured throughout these 30 minutes. Here is Boots' cinematic debut, in all its arid, roving glory.
Look for the Motorcycle Jesus due out March 3 on Canvasback/Atlantic.