Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Brad Kopplin
Seth Kauffman is still alive. He's still got Memphis and Detroit cookin', Memphis and Detroit dancin' and juttin' and Memphis and Detroit flair jogging through his veins as if they were treadmills. If you were to lean in close, getting into his personal bubble never meant for strangers and kooks, the area surrounding him that is - in essence - his essence, you might even smell that deeply smoked in barbeque aroma and a musky, manly scent. His perspiration is saltier and spicier than most and its got more groove than you can shake a stick at. It also seems to stand that Kauffman still remains a resident of the ominous Black Mountain of the less ominous North Carolina.
That Seth Kauffman is still very much alive and he is in fantastic health, recently taking in an exhilarating swim during a lightning storm that should actually add vitality and some years to his life, or so we've heard. There is no threat of that guy going anywhere, thankfully. He would, however, now have us call what he does something other than what we have been calling it in the past. As of today, we're to address what he does as Floating Action. There will be reprimands if this request is ignored. There will be blacklisting and a wall with syringes and razor blades topping it erected around Black Mountain that will refuse to give you access should you be one of the sorry offenders. There will be tars and there will be feathers. Okay, so that won't happen. It's far too extreme to be a tactic that Kauffman would ever think to employ.
Floating Action and the direction that Kauffman takes with his songs should be seen as relatively complementary in term and style. There are opportunities for floaties and rafts and laissez faire degrees of interference from the stressful stuffs. There is no room in his party for chained spirits. There is a form of life on the Mississippi, in one of those Beale Street joints feel to it. The wines should be logically flowing and there should be a sunset-colored glow of romance all throughout the halls. There should be people rubbing gentlemanly and gentlewomanly up against others, enjoying it and not making it out to be some dirty ass dance of the animals. It should have a timid sort of confidence, that first touch and that electricity of feeling someone new. There's also the higher wattage electricity of the cessation of getting to feel someone you've always felt or have been feeling for an extended amount of time.
There's not really a sludge of sexual tension in Kauffman's music - most notably on the most underrated (or unrated) release of 2007, Research - but there is a towering sound of a man getting infatuated and getting in love and just getting into the frosting too deep, to a point where all movement makes him clatter and shake a sticky shake. It's not desperation, but heads do fall over heels and when you're in too deep - you're in too deep. Women do that to men, plain and simple. Men get those weakenings in the knees and the putty in the joints and it's lights out. He talks about those absolute sways, making it apply to either ladies or other things to love, and pretty soon, the waters are warm and you're doing some floating. He invokes those classic, soul staples of deep and penetrating bass lines, simple but ideal and perfect lyrics about the troubles of love and jingling guitars. He gives you the jitters and the absolute sway is all his.
Floating Action MySpace Page