Jus-Ed's tracks often get labeled as "raw" or "unfinished." Over the years, he's really come to own that sound—hell, even the name of his label has an analog earthiness to it. Certainly his work is understated, idiosyncratic and intimate, but "raw" isn't quite the whole story. While tracks like "Tech 46" revel in an off-the-cuff, "underground" looseness, this mix reveals plenty of polish and refinement. "Relief," for example, is remarkable in its balance, using a distended melody of trippy, uneven pads to smooth a bubbling rhythm section. The result sounds drowsy, but feels funky. Later on, "New Life" dishes up that familiar lo-fi haze, but bolsters it with a bassline that's ridiculously rich. Another highlight, his remix of Glenn Thornton's "Get It Like Jack" is all silvery strings, rubbery bass, and machine drums like an automatic bill counter. More than accomplished, it sounds like the work of an old master.
A few tracks maximize the mix's roomier accommodations to let their own narrative arcs play out. "Sweetness," above all, capitalizes on a cycle of builds and lulls to let its almost mournful melody sing its story. Brimming with sentiment, it's a delicate track that could come off corny or overwrought in skimpier helpings, but with nine minutes at its disposal, it earns its title and achieves something almost anthemic.
Not every track flies quite so high. Though several tracks recede into the background, and I'd gladly take a little less sensual grunting from "PJ 255," this set acquits itself quite admirably, with Jus-Ed really putting his best foot forward. But what am I going on about? You just clicked through for a better look at that nice lady on the cover.