Jam City's Classical Curves remains one of the 2012's most unique albums, but some may have been upset at the slightly DJ-unfriendly nature of the album edits. This EP addresses those issues and then some with a raft of unreleased cuts. Featuring 12" versions of standout tracks "The Courts" and "How We Relate To The Body", dub versions of "Her" and "Club Thanz", and an instrumental version of "The Nite Life", the real gem is nevertheless the all new track "Now We Relate". A 9 minute epic which stretches out Jam City's hyperreal house like a piece of elastic, it constantly hovers on the edge of mayhem for what seems like an eternity. Keeping the kick drum back until halfway through, its peak time stabs skipping maniacally like a broken record before dropping in with all the force of some lost Underground Resistance production. Essential.
For all of the genre bending insanity of his early singles on Night Slugs, it's unlikely that anyone could have foreseen Jam City coming out with an album like this. Across ten tracks the producer delivers music that runs the gauntlet between Prince influenced funk that flickers like a burnt out neon sign, Chicago house that sounds like it was made in an echo chamber and Philly club that sounds like it was made for an athletics commercial. Despite its air of detached ADD hyperreality it's an album that's never cold, and never once looks down on the listener ... in short, absolutely essential.
Keen observers of the Night Slugs movement will have noticed a consistent stream of Jam City tracks featuring in the DJ sets, charts, mixes and weekly Rinse FM shows performed by Messrs Bok Bok and L-Vis 1990 which even predate NS as a label entity. As Night Slugs draws close to a near perfect first year of business, they quit with the teasing and finally unveil the debut proper EP from Jam City. "Magic Drops" has been a staple of the extended NS family DJ set for yonks now so anyone with a semblance of club going in them will be more than familiar with the pressurised crunk grind meets blissed out keys and sludge drunk synths Eski riddim tribute. What really impresses is the richness in sonic detail throughout - you can listen to "Magic Drops" ten times in a row and find something different to captivate you. "Scene Girl" retains the industrial pressure style percussion, but lays down A saw tooth synth wash that positively bullies its way to the forefront, whilst "2 Hot" drops some half step menace courtesy of the massive cloud of outergalactic synth tension. This release combined with the preceding Refixes EP proves to be an auspicious portent of things to come in 2011!
Lesser spotted Night Slugs alumni Jam City offers an auspicious insight into what we might expect from his often hinted at debut album on the startling Waterworx EP. It's likely you will already have a taste for the three tracks here after snippets appeared unannounced on the NS Soundcloud, however those 90 second samples don't fully hint at the magic on display here! "Aquabox" shoots muscular stabs of bass and neon flourishes skywards over a stumbling steppahs rhythm, pausing briefly to let the crystalline jah infused undercurrents shine. Up next, "Countess" sits alongside the recent John Roberts remix of George Fitzgerald in the "what do we even call it" stakes - if there ever was a track to definitely silence the wanton genre givers it would be this - with a tight strutting bruk riddim subjected to a schizophrenic array of snaking arpeggios and vocal squeals. "Barely A Trak" is really where those snippets don't reveal Jam City's brilliance, combining the rising pressure of the synth ripples with simmering stop start grime patterns before a genius left turn lends the track a utopian finish.
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