Wednesday, 28 April 2021

JAB ‎– Currents (2021)

Style: Broken Beat, Deep House, Jazzdance
Format: Vinyl, FLAC
Label: Joon Dada Records

A1.   Preface
A2.   5, 6, 7, 8
B1.   Currents
B2.   Game, Set (Checkmate)

All tracks written & produced by JAB
Will Fry, Oli Savill - Additional Percussion 
Nathan Allen, Marijus Aleksa - Drums
Sean Allen, Yves Fernandez, Alex Bonfanti - Bass
Femi Temowo - Guitar 
Gavin Powell - Additional Organ 
Lewis Wright, Tymon Janusiewicz - Additional Vibraphone
Tobie Tripp - Additional String Arrangement
JAB - Percussion, Vibraphone, Drums, Organ, String arrangment 

Amika Strings:
Laura Senior - Violin
Simmy Singh - Violin
Lucy Nolan - Viola
Peggy Nolan - Cello + additional string arrangement 

JAB is a project from Junior Alli-Balogun, a London-based multi-percussionist who creates forward-thinking dance music using traditional instruments. His first EP, Directions, earned major support from the likes of Floating Points, Gilles Peterson and Theo Parrish, which brings us to Currents, the third release on Balogun’s Joon Dada Records. These songs were written and recorded across multiple cities on either side of the Atlantic, with contributions from many different session musicians.

The light percussion of "Preface" eases into a nice groove before coming to an abrupt pause around two-thirds of the way in. What follows is one of the more impressive breakdowns in recent live dance music: a change up on the bass and strings helped by some sampled chopping. "5,6,7,8 (Dance Is Life)" ups the tempo significantly and lets the vibraphone shine, while the finale "Game, Set, (Checkmate)" has more of a broken beat vibe. Then there's  "Currents," which is pure emotion. Organ chords lead into a cello and violin arrangement, ending with the sounds of spring: birds chirping and running water over rocks. 

Currents is easily one of the most fulfilling EPs released so far this year. The music is fully realized, crafted with care and musicianship reminiscent of the music production process of the past. Many different souls were involved in the creation of Currents and, once again, collaboration wins over what many solo artists are producing today. Balogun cites Roy Ayers as a major influence upon his style, a most fitting comparison for the vibe his music gives off.

Tajh Morris / Resident Advisor