Decamped deep in the forest outside of Berlin, one of rock and roll’s most under the radar yet omnipresent figures has put the finishing touches on his latest solo record, but in fact traces of Mark Sultan can be found around the world.
Previously released by celebrated labels such as In The Red, Last Gang, Crypt, Fat Possum, Dirtnap, Goner, Sub Pop, Vice, Bomp!, Norton, Sympathy For The Record Industry, and Wick (Daptone Records), you’re bound to have come across something with Sultans name on it, where over the course of multiple decades he’s compiled an insane discography built from the strength of multiple albums, side projects and top-shelf solo efforts, always with a strong deposition towards taking classic garage rock sounds and contorting them in experimental and twisted new ways. For this most recent effort, written, recorded and produced in his own “Sound Imperfection” studio in Germany, Sultan once again ups the ante, working to implement a full band and fully fleshed out instrumentation. Still encompassing the ethos of individuality and charisma that has lent him a sound that has transcended any era by which you might try to nail him down, it may be his most cohesive statement yet.
Sultan has been quietly making moves for decades, earning the respect of legends like Jon Spencer and Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox, who have covered his songs and sang his accolades. Touring the world incessantly with his collaborative efforts with King Khan as King Khan & BBQ show, and with Bloodshot Bill as the Ding Dongs, his constant state of proliferation also led to involvement in Black Lips’ supergroup the Almighty Defenders, where the much mythologized band of brothers wrote, recorded and mixed eleven tracks in the span of two days. Part gospel, part soul, the resulting accomplishment was a testimony of hook-filled rhythm and blues as only Sultan could forge, a boundary-pushing fusion of genres that still defies expectation.
For new record “Let Me Out”, Sultan lets his own voice shine more effusively than ever before. Through thirteen tracks filled with his signature moody, 60s inspired garage rock and roll, Sultan “doesn’t simply revive old sounds and old excitements, he ingests them, digests them, and regurgitates them as something new and personal” (Pitchfork). His unmistakeable vocals, instantly transportive to rock’s most vintage moments, breath new life and bridge periods of time to convey the kind of music that stays with you long after its over. After all these years, “Let Me Out” further cements Sultan’s ingenuity and enterprise as someone who has no chance of slowing down, but this time the world might finally be catching up.
Dirty Water Records