Jitterbug, Beaten Trax EP


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After a year in the wilderness I often wondered when Jitterbug might reappear with more sultry and sticky house. Fortunately, his second release feels neither constrained nor rushed. Uzuri seems to invest time and patience in its artists — beneficially for the most part. The delay between his releases proposes a guy who won’t be rushed into selling his style or quality; rather he would wait, delay and carefully assemble tracks that have real purpose and feeling behind them. The wistfully casual vibe of the Beaten Trax EP seems to reflect the laid back approach of the producer. Not dictated by trends or fashion, Jitterbug does not revert to generics. His productions are carefully balanced, occupying an intermediate position between old school electronics, vintage drum machines and unadulterated, sweaty basement house.

Jitterbug’s second outing on Uzuri is held together by four deadly cryptic jazz-house shufflers which hang on to the lo-fi aesthetic that makes his music so appealing and distinctive. “Catacombs” is by far and away my favorite track. Centered on a swirling and shuffling rewinding hiss as warm angelic keys stagger and sway alongside; it affects an entrancing vibe that immediately forces you to nod your head in appreciation. It’s striking how percussive instruments play a major roll in building each track, from intricate snares to fierce hand claps to piercing hi-hats. Add these to the layered grooves at the focal point and you have a good picture of his ethos or perhaps a reflection of JB’s love for early Chicago flavored house and its auspicious beginnings. “Dune Buggy” builds on all these elements, introducing keys and jagged drum patterning subtly.

“Thanks Spencer” is the one track primarily marketed for the dance floor. At its core a soft kick drum rounded by frisky hand claps and a groovy melody — an obvious construction you may think, but the element he adds make the track much softer and more approachable; faint whistling synth strains infiltrate the fore combined with biting snare rolls that give the track real impetus. Perhaps not the most accomplished track on the EP but his intentions and the atmosphere he creates are well founded. Finishing off the release is “Ancient Ruins,” whose slow motion beats and guitar licks scream 1970’s disco-funk are expertly intertwined with dreamy whispered vocals and splashy cymbals. It’s a slow burning track that encompasses both and the producers love of analogue equipment and his appreciation for the development of house.

Paul S  on July 1, 2010 at 10:13 PM

Nice……great track.

jakGALT  on July 2, 2010 at 10:37 AM

very nice … especially love Ancient ruins

lerato  on July 4, 2010 at 8:29 AM

young talent from london ! nice !

lerosa  on July 5, 2010 at 6:32 AM

wicked follow-up Ep, congrats!

kuri  on July 6, 2010 at 12:32 PM

loving this one. quality over quantity every time.

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