Following on from the recent ‘Dubs’ compilation of his earlier works, YMFEES sees Athens resident and Bokeh Version regular Jay Glass Dubs (aka Dimitris Papadatos) team up with poet and singer Leslie Winer. The result is a collaboration amplifying both artists’ attack on narrative and form.
US born and currently living in France, Winer is regarded as a pioneer of trip hop for her 1990 album Witch, recorded under the alias ©, that mixed Burroughs style poetry with dark, dub laden beats. YMFEES sees her lyrics take on a far more exploratory trajectory. On opener ‘Woodshedded‘, her stream of consciousness lines are equal parts precise evocation and searingly abstract. Recited over Jay Glass Dubs’ stuttering hip hop production, her multiple narratives overlap and merge as the synths and percussion slip in and out of phase.
Capturing the propulsion and immediacy felt on his 2017 collaboration with Guerilla Toss, YMFEES sees Jay Glass Dubs rip apart sound more aggressively than before – creating an ambience that is equal parts Lee ‘Scatch’ Perry and Beatriz Ferreyra. On ‘Cogged’, a shuffled bass line floats over a tangle of sounds cut from their attacks and decays. As Winer pushes language beyond the limitations of simple structures, Jay Glass Dubs pulls dub out of any cliched narrative – capturing its boundary pushing intent instead of replicating what’s come before.
‘About the Author’ opens with Winer drawling “Send your love forward, into the past, open the book about the author“. Coming in the EP’s heaviest track, a stalking slab of industrial bass and blasted snares, it feels like the statement of intent that unites her and Papadatos. Winer’s verse messes with narratives of time, and the boundaries between author and art. Jay Glass Dubs’ production meanwhile, refuses to fit into a closed system of light or dark, happy or sad music. The oppression felt in the pounding drums countered by a playful synth loop and chanting vocals in the background.
In just six tracks, Winer and Jay Glass Dubs tear into ideas of structure and progression. Mirroring the record’s artwork, designed by Iris Touliatou, they’ve delved into the minutiae of language and sound – ripping them from their contexts and reassembling the debris into something vividly unfamiliar. YMFEES is a work of euphoric deconstruction, boldly smashing conventional narratives and demanding the listener make their own meaning.
YMFEES is out now on Bokeh Versions, order a copy via Bandcamp.
A2 Tin Mine
B1 About The Author
B3 No Famous Actors
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