Having spent most of 2012 so far further establishing itself as a global bastion of forward thinking electronic dance music, the Rwina label is changing things up a little with an EP from young Dutch producer Jameszoo.
On Faaveelaa Jameszoo displays the kind of brazen ingenuity that youth affords by drawing inspiration from dancehall before finding its edge to craft an entirely new take on the genre and using that to paint a colourful sonic picture of what he imagines a Favela might look like. Sounds mad? It is, in a good way. By his own admittance the picture he paints is also a bit messy, yet there’s beauty in chaos. As for the inspiration, it can sometimes be hard to hear at first though anyone familiar with Jamaica’s dancehall tradition will recognise the instantly catchy quality of Faaveelaa’s riddims.
I You Cherrypearl sets the tone, and it’s firmly tongue in cheek. Eerie melodies bubble slowly to the surface until a hint of percussion signals the arrival of the riddim and before you know it heads are snapping and bodies are moving, though they’re struggling to figure out exactly how they’re supposed to do it. Things then switch up towards a more hip hop lean with lazers flying overhead and before the listener has time to settle into this new groove all of a sudden we’re back in Jamaica. Or was it Brazil? We forget, but this is clearly going to be a hell of a ride to the most psychedelic-looking favela you’ve ever seen.
Visiting a psychedelic favela wouldn’t be complete without a dose of hallucinogenic drugs, and Mrm Aid S is the proverbial acid tab. The riddim is seemingly broken, its percussion and bass pulses coming at you from various angles while strange animals make noises in the back. Where the hell is this again? Who knows, just enjoy it and let the percussion at the end pull you gently out of the trip. It’ll all make sense.
Have you ever imagined what a lullaby done in a dancehall fashion might sound like? Us neither, though Doc Pipper is about as close as it gets with a childlike melody contorted over bass heavy kicks and rolling percussion with processed vocal chops. It’s perhaps the track that displays the most obvious dancehall influences yet still manages to sound unlike anything ever done in that style. Unless you live in that imagined favela, use of this to put kids to sleep is not recommended.
Things end on as delirious a note as they started with Psitta Riddim, coming across like a horde of robots kicking over a kindergarten. We did tell you to keep the music away from the children. Once more twisting the inspiration as far as you could imagine, Jameszoo employs percussion in the most bizarre yet satisfying ways, shakers floating on one side while skin drums tumble on the other and a distorted Jamaican vocal proclaims ‘ya man!’ Maybe the acid hasn’t quite worn off yet…
Jameszoo’s debut for Rwina shows he has plenty of ideas and isn’t afraid of experimenting with them. Whether you bump it at home or in the club, Faaveelaa is sure to surprise you and make you move in ways you never thought possible. Enter Jameszoo’s Faaveelaa and lose yourself in a Technicolor world of musical fantasies.