Mathew Jonson, Dayz

[Crosstown Rebels]

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Mathew Jonson on Crosstown Rebels? I was as surprised as you might be until I actually heard “Dayz.” Though the Vancouver-hailing, Berlin-based producer’s metronomic and stubbornly self-perpetuating momentum is as intact as ever, here the producer’s toolbox is dried out, stripped down and reduced to a new level of basic. It’s not exactly “mnml” — it’s too boisterous for that — but it’s something: “Dayz” is almost like a toy version of a track like this year’s “Learning To Fly,” all quirky elements bouncing around rambunctiously in a tightly confined space. In typically alchemical fashion, “Dayz” balances a number of countermelodies all running at once and manages to make it sound immaculately accessible rather than convoluted — it’s a testament to his grasp of poppy melodies as much as rhythm. The track’s oddly vacuous atmosphere — there’s reverb, but the environment it inhabits is inhospitable — is a perfect match for Crosstown’s playful but antiseptic house.

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Flipside, “Cold Blooded” is a little weirder, maintaining the loose and jocular feel but changing around some of the moodpieces. The drums are less rigid and Jonson winds a filtered melody around a grubby stab of a bass line that eventually morphs into tunneling Reese bass lines. The incorporation of one of drum and bass’ harshest (adopted) elements into an otherwise mellifluous track lush with bongos is a bit of a shocker, but like everything else here, it somehow works. Given the track’s melancholic melody and DnB references, dBridge is an uncanny choice for the remix who delivers just fine. The London producer bogs down the track’s main melodic sample with whining synth outbursts, turns that incisive Reese into a smoothly ascending roller, and reorganizes Jonson’s drums into something more typical. It either says something about dBridge’s rearranging skills or Jonson’s versatility that it essentially sounds like a prime dBridge track, which given the producer’s recent run is decidedly not a bad thing. I’m still not sure what’s more surprising: that Jonson finds himself on Crosstown Rebels or the fact that a release by said label feels so legitimately vital in an environment mired in complacency.

steofan  on November 8, 2011 at 11:15 AM

so on the fence w/ the A side.
reminds me of ‘i hear you arthur’ by lee curtiss a bit too much.
i feel to say this release is vital is a stretch, the dbridge remix is excellent though…but i wonder what ‘dayz’ sounds like on a big system in the right context…

stu  on November 8, 2011 at 1:44 PM

easy listening (in the worst sense of the word)

Nick  on November 9, 2011 at 12:55 AM

Great review of a pretty strange package. Not sure how I feel about the A-side either. I think I’ll stick with “Learning to Fly”; that made a big impact on me.

Alejandro Tamayo  on November 12, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Is really boring that EP from Jonson, CRM turned out in a trendy label which It wants a little bit of eclecticism with Jonson or Purman, artists who in a part time worked for CRM in pasta releases. CRM wants to give another one sensation, all people into electronic music categorize this labal as a machine of spoiled house with the 80’s influence and the massive wave from the leaders of this trend, Jamie Jones, Seth Troxler and Lee Foss… is boring, sound like a M_nus on 2008, like a chewing gum without flavor. I enjoyed the resurrection of CRM but now, seems like another one GPM than a innovator label up to 40 releases on 2007. “Learning To Fly” rocks, “CRM” and “Dayz” sucks, the same with Purman and Dinky’s future releases.

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