A lo-fi house artist sheds his early sound with excellent excursions into jungle and UK garage.
J. Albert - Wake Me Up
J. Albert's Wake Me Up, the New York artist's second EP for Hypercolour, feels like the creative breakthrough he's been threatening for a while. Jiovanni Nadal is most readily known as a producer of lo-fi house. He's released on Black Opal, Cult Trip and 1080p, labels that favour dusty looks, and his music has historically shared common ground with artists like Anthony Naples, Mall Grab and the Vancouver house community. There's been a growing sense, though, that he's seeking a change. EPs for Black Orpheus and The Trilogy Tapes have introduced garage and other UK influences to his degraded sound, and on Wake Me Up he uses these sources as the basis for something new.
For starters, there's no house music here. Nadal lands on a slippery style of broken-beat club music whose spirit is shaped by the spiky side of UK garage. Basslines rule. Low-end whomps and wobbles are recurrent features, but Nadal is careful to retain some of the inviting humidity and chords that he's historically specialised in. "Wake Me Up" is a dusky mid-set roller. There's an almost Autechre level of beat science on "World War Me." And "Paradolia" places a dub techno synth at its centre. The closer, "Joy Of Rebirth," is the cut that best symbolises Nadal's shedding of a creative skin. Sure, it's a fairly standard lo-fi jungle homage but it's infectious—and the track title really says it all.
Thu / 5
A1 Wake Me Up
A2 World War Me
B2 Joy Of Rebirth