Timoty Gassen formed the pioneering minimalist-electro-wave act “Jacket Weather” in 1982, mixing dual Casiotone keyboards, real bass and drums — with the desolate imagery of the Arizona desert.
“For kids in the 1960s, the moment of inspiration was when they heard The Beatles for the first time” Jacket Weather frontman Timothy Gassen says. “For me, when I heard Kraftwerk’s ‘Computer Love’ for the first time in 1981, I was hooked on making pop sounds with synths”. “I loved the contrast of the synths with human percussion and the sensual backdrop of the desert,” Gassen adds. “We thought the tension of my cold, distant vocals and synths with the bombastic rock rhythm section made our sound unique.” Described in their day as a cross between Joy Division and Young Marble Giants, with some Wall Of Voodoo mixed in, Jacket Weather etched their own minimalist sound. Staccato, expressionistic vocals accent the snake-like mingling of the Casiotones, while a steady dance pulse backs the eerie mixture. Equally enraptured with Euro-synth, English post-punk and Los Angeles punk-wave, Jacket Weather found inspiration from such opposites as Our Daughter’s Wedding to the Suburban Lawns for their Casiotone symphonies. The band recorded a cassette album in 1982, released a six-song vinyl EP in 1983 (titled “When Shadows Move”) and also recorded a complete album that remained unreleased — until now. Original session producer Gassen (who has gone on to a career in indie rock and film) recently found all the master tapes — from early demos, to the EP tapes, to the unreleased album — and re-mastered and assembled them all into the collection that has been unheard for 30 years. It’s the dark and mysterious (Casio) tones of Jacket Weather that finally take center stage, three decades since they first drifted through the Arizona night.