If we were to pick just one name out of the tremendous number of exciting producers to have emerged in France over the last decade, Philippe Hallais aka Low Jack would be the one. While his sound globally remains entrenched in a certain rhythmic vein, his game-changing abilities need no further test, and neither does the motion-setting eminence of his work – widely recognised as a dependable locomotive and first-rate creative matrix by fellow artists out there. Low Jack is a catalyst and his newest full-length delivery on Editions Gravats acts accordingly.
Comprised of eight facelifted dancehall oddities lifted from Low Jack’s split tape featuring Equiknoxx – ‘Glacial Dancehall‘ – plucked and re-configured into top-tier club weaponry, ‘Riddims Du Lieu-Dit‘ – which kicks off the new Les Disques De La Bretagne series – works a path that particularly suits Hallais sound’s bendy nature, threading its way across stocky bass and ragga motifs to end up dissolving in full-fledged dubby anamorphosis.
The jacking opener, ‘Free Eternally‘ gets the ball rolling straightaway with its off-kilter mashup of churning percs and smouldering bombarde notes closing the gap between Kingston and Brittany. The further laid-back skank of the Casio-germinated ‘They Rule‘ has you swimming in a floaty ’80s haze, with its naive synthlines drawing ripples far and deep. Then ‘Brass‘ takes up again on the bouncier side of things, blending melodica stabs and muffled MC vox slivers with a serpentine sub-bass outlining slightly ominous contours in the background.
Through the further elaborate melodic lines of ‘Partei‘ and ‘Raid Leader‘, Hallais extends the album’s frontally dancefloor-oriented character nicely – especially the latter, with its weak-kneed synths and drums hovering upon endless fields of delays and reverbs. ‘Robert‘ swerves back onto more aggressive rhythmic terrains, testing its four-wheel drive into the muggiest of basement vibe with optimal results, before ‘Light‘ reaches a consensus between a late-night smokey jazz club kinda flow and straight-out muscular drum pulsations.
The shape-shifting ‘One Pop‘ tops things off on a curiously brooding note – fusing easternmost harmonic intricacies with disruptive glitches for a perfectly orchestrated grand finale. An oddball, arrythmic yet strikingly modern and captivating bedlam of beatmaking savoir-faire – just like ‘Riddims Du Lieu-Dit‘ is a finetuned batch of future-ready jams. A highly recommended listen.
Riddims du Lieu-dit is out now, order a copy from Boomkat.
A1. Free Eternally
A3. They Rule
B1. Raid Leader
B4. One Pop