If you’ve read about this year’s debut album from Jam City, you’re likely familiar with Jack Latham’s stories of how the album was inspired by a real-life stint as a corporate spy for a well known athletics brand. Dig around a bit, and you’ll hear about how he designed futuristic prototype chrome body extensions that were shelved at the last minute, or played Kevin Saunderson tracks to a group of oil barons in a mansion in the outskirts of Paris.
Jam City will complete the work he started on debut album Classical Curves with a second 12″ single and digital-only EP of club mixes and one all-new track.
I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t really care much for Jam City’s Magic Drops EP, his debut EP proper for Night Slugs. To my ears, there was something too clean about its lines, something too plastic about its textures, something fundamentally lifeless about it. Everything that made his vital refix of Endgames’ “Ecstasy”, which arrived on Night Slugs’ white label imprint in Summer 2010, so exciting – its raw, frantic string slices, scattershot drums and a bassline that referenced grime without trying to slavishly recreate it – were missing in action. Last summer’s Waterworx EP was much more alive however, ripping apart the static structure of that debut EP like a child who had built up a Lego house using the instructions and wanted to reconstruct it in his own wayward manner.
Jam City is at the controls for a mix that sets the scene for his soon to drop debut LP Classical Curves.
No tracklisting is forthcoming for the Classical Genesis mix and don’t let the gentle sounds that permeate the opening moments lull you into thinking this is an exercise in calm. The subsequent 28 minute journey is aimed at demonstrating what to expect on the album, featuring the brutal “Videodrome” from L-Vis 1990 amidst “frenzied, sweat-drenched machine muzik” on a mix described as “part mission statement, part tribute, part documentary”.
Download via Night Slugs.
To date, there’s been an aura of mystique and anticipation surrounding the music of Jam City. Purported to be ridiculously prolific with his output, unreleased Jam City tracks have been a staple of the charts, mixes, DJ sets and weekly Rinse FM shows of BokBok and L-Vis 1990 all the way back to before Night Slugs was a label entity. Hell, the young producer has even composed a film soundtrack and was featured on the risible Guardian column occupied by Paul Lester over a year ago!
The Jam City Refixes EP, released earlier this year on the NS White Label offshoot gave mere mortals an auspicious glance at his musical talent. As the label approaches the end of to a truly memorable first year of business Night Slugs reveal the real Jam City gold in the shape of “Magic Drops”.
Anyone with a semblance of attending night clubs will have heard “Magic Drops” murdering the dark spaces of dancefloors in recent months and will instantly recognise the pressurised crunk grind meets blissed out keys and sludge drunk synths of Jam City’s tribute to Eski beat. Away from these sweat filled environs what truly impresses is the richness in sonic detail throughout – you can listen to you can listen to “Magic Drops” ten times in a row and find something different to captivate you.
Elsewhere “Scene Girl” retains the industrial pressure style percussion, but lays down 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.
It seems redundant to ram home once again the high quality of a Night Slugs release, everyone expects it and they never disappoint, however it is nice to finally hear the first fruits of what appears to be a truly talented producer. 2011, can you start already so we can hear some more?