Showing posts with label jlin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jlin. Show all posts

Thursday, May 25, 2017

video review: 'black origami' by jlin

Well, this happened... man, I wish I liked this album more. Don't get me wrong, it's not bad, and I think if it's your thing you're going to really like it... but I'm just kind of meh on it overall.

Up next, though... oh boy. Stay tuned!

album review: 'black origami' by jlin

So I've always been very upfront with the fact that when it comes to me and electronic music, I can feel a little out of my depth, especially on the more experimental fringes where the compositions push into twisted, visceral territory. Now this is less true than when I was first stepping into the genre in 2015, but there's a part of me that's always a little unnerved and yet thrilled venturing into the weirder subgenres, that touch upon tones and sounds that never really touched the mainstream.

And so you can all imagine how much a record like Jlin's Dark Energy had on me a few years ago. Wrenching the tempos and intensity of footwork into twisted yet razor-tight atmosphere full of fragmented samples, industrial muscle, and African textured percussion, it was an experience unlike any other electronic record I had heard in recent memory, and while I did take some time to delve into footwork after hearing Dark Energy, it's a record that has lingered in my mind even years later. Hell, a record that experimental, strident and confrontational and yet willfully abstract and opaque can be easy to respect for how much it sticks in your head, even if going back I still find parts uneven enough to like but not love.

So when I heard that Jlin was doubling down to produce something even more challenging, aggressive, and imposing for her sophomore release, I was definitely on board, even if there was a part of me that was a little terrified where the album could take us. So where does Black Origami go?

Monday, April 13, 2015

video review: 'dark energy' by jlin

This review took way too long to really unpack, believe it or not. Complicated album, lot to say.

Next up, I've got to talk about Halestorm, because this... yeah, this isn't good...

album review: 'dark energy' by jlin

So as I said over this past week, it seems like the theme has been delving into musical genres and styles that are outside of my typical experience. And if that's really the case... whoo boy, we've got one for today from a genre that I've touched, but rarely explored in depth.

Yep, this time we're going to be talking about house music - and given its ubiquity, I'd be surprised if anybody couldn't recognize the sounds. Born in Chicago in the very early 80s as dance music returned to the underground, it would eventually pop up in scattered moments of popularity across the world, especially in the UK and especially in the early 90s. Or more specifically, especially over the course of the past couple of years, with the explosion of house-inspired EDM at the turn of the decade and the explosion of deep house last year. And like most house music trends, it always seems to be mutating too fast for most critics to catch up.

So when I started hearing about the newest Chicago-driven sound, nebulously defined as 'footwork', I was at least curious to find out what it was - only to discover that the term is something of a misnomer, more referring to a specific type of scene that included fast-paced dancing against some of the most aggressive house tracks you'd ever hear. I also discovered that like most house genres, it's been around since the 80s, most supported by DJ Rashad, and seems to be now making its comeback against the lethargic tones of deep house. Enter Jlin - affiliated with English electronic label Planet Mu, and initially sparking interest in the scene with the single 'Erotic Heart' back in 2011, her rise to releasing a debut album has won her a lot of critical acclaim and conversation, particularly for her near-complete absence of samples outside of vocal snippets. Regardless, given my general ambivalence towards chunks of deep house, I figured maybe something with a little more aggression and anger might work better, so I dove deep into Jlin's debut album Dark Energy - what did we get?