A close collaborator of L.I.E.S. and The Trilogy Tapes, Low Jack has been consistently densifying his sound over the last couple of years, injecting a healthy dose of opacity and occult boogie to the already ‘physical‘ nature of his compositions. From his live performance at the Quai Branly museum of Indigenous Arts in Paris – recorded as part of an event about the people from Honduras, he drew the mesmerising ‘Garifuna Variations‘, which blocked out a new orientation – eventually coming to further fruition on the excellent ‘Sewing Machine‘.
Having now found shelter on Manchester’s Modern Love, the Parisian producer delivers what feels like his most accomplished long-length effort to date in terms of balance and cohesiveness. Delving into further ominous, wrong-footing material for dingy floor bustle, Low Jack goes in with an industrial-leaning tour de force. Deadly whispers in Madteo’s ‘Noi No‘ style meet Andy Stott-friendly, sharply-executed textural arrangements; Listen closely and it feels Low Jack’s boundless audio sourcing traverse an infinite scope as the whole sound spectrum seems to make for his routine playground.
"Delving into further ominous, wrong-footing material for dingy floor bustle, Low Jack goes in with an industrial-leaning tour de force."
The aesthetic is rough-hewn as per usual, letting loose on harsh unknown techno objects in unfinished form, heaving their droning carcass to unsafe backrooms. The insane, hedonistic ‘Six In The Morning‘ makes for a six-minute long, heavy-lidded sleepwalk descent into a smoke-filled, grubby after-party in the cellar. Bodies lying in improvised couches, a bed of dead bottles merging from all corners, red-lipstick kisses dispensed on cold, sleepy cheeks. A fascinating late night drift.
‘Thin Platforms‘ swerves with a gentle AFX-like momentum, nose-diving into melodic arpeggios as if taking a plunge in a rainbow-colored ball pit at the motorway rest area McDonald’s. On the double ‘Coquelin Cloarec‘, Low Jack gives out an alternative rendering just as satisfying. The ‘Steps‘ version opens on a bipolar flight of syncopated, seesawing synth slivers and gunning percussions whilst the ‘Emotions‘ flip to sub-bass tsunami mode.
"Low Jack's albums have never been meant for easy listening or straight up club use, instead unchaining from any pre-conceived system or unwanted labelling."
Offbeat mind-melter ‘Judo Coaster‘ extends the journey to a multi-track assemblage channelled into a monobloc, heavy-battering play melding harmonious birdsong samples and repeated piano stabs over a relentless copier-like engine script. Switch frequencies and lock in on ‘Feigned Confidence‘: the audio rendition to a battle with your alarm-radio after a restless night. You try to tune into a radio station but you’ve smashed the snooze button too hard.
In its last pulse of life it sucks up enough energy from its dying batteries to propel a throbbing, chopped and screwed hip-hop beat that could have easily made it to Delroy Edwards ‘Slowed Down Funk‘ series. Drowned in a hangover stasis, tape saturation steaming, it’s time to reach for the painkillers.
Low Jack’s albums have never been meant for easy listening or straight up club use, instead unchaining from any pre-conceived system or unwanted labelling. This debut outing for the highly-esteemed Modern Love does not only keep its promises music-wise, it also confirms the French producer as one of the most innovative techno producers out there.
- Listen to Low Jacks podcast recorded for Inverted Audio (2012).
Lighthouse Stories is released via Modern Love on March 25th, order a copy from Boomkat.
A1 Saab Prelude (Radio)
A2 Six In The Morning
A3 Thin Platforms
A4 Coquelin Cloarec (Steps)
A5 Coquelin Cloarec (Emotions)
B1 Judo Coaster
B3 An Other Swim (Skit)
B4 Feigned Confidence
B5 Blinking Lights Sheep