Patron of dancers the world over, Jerrilynn Patton a.k.a. Jlin delivers a devastatingly strong 2nd album with Black Origami. Incorporating input from Indian dancer/movement artist Avril Stormy Unger, as well as William Basinski, Holly Herndon and vocals from Dope Saint Jude and Fawkes, the North American producer has realised a transcendent, body-unlocking sound that’s effectively peerless in her field and shapes up an early contender for one of the albums of the year so far, just as its predecessor Dark Energy was in 2015.
Jlin smartly uses the metaphor of Black Origami to describe her art and the process of unpackaging and refolding Black Musical heritage at expressively complex, innovative new angles, eloquently articulated in a language of clipped, pointillist gestures swirled into a singular yet mutable rhythmelodic cadence.
Above all it’s about moving you differently, both emotionally and physically, and perfectly highlights the symbiosis between those two aspects which are all too often heard as mutually exclusive. For Jlin, the rhythm is the melody is the harmony and vice-versa in a manner which connects everything from African talking drum traditions to avant-garde minimalism thru to Kraftwerk and Chicago house and the rhythmic psychedelia of ‘90s jungle.
She has clearly, intuitively reached that same conclusion some years ago, and used it as the bedrock from which to, thru painstaking counter-intuitive process - pushing blocks on a screen - manifest a music which consolidates time and space within a radically personalised temporality.
With a uniquely spirited approach that acknowledges “the beauty of darkness and blackness” her disrupted style of syncopations forms a remarkable solution to notions of conceptual stasis within contemporary dance music much in the same way that Powell has unlocked rock and industrial music thru a process of complex editing and arrangement at the service of an immediate, direct simplicity. Perhaps no wonder that AFX, one of the world’s foremost electronic rhythmaticians, was squashing their tunes together in his Austin, TX DJ set last year, then.
With tracks such as the the lush, gyroscopic rolige of Holy Child featuring William Basinski, in the ravenous mix of militant pliés and vicious mentasms in Hatshepsut, or the turbulent urgency of 1% with Holly Herndon, Jlin flips and inverts conventions with stunning effect, resulting a sound which helplessly commands the body to new rhythmic sensations, re-programming our biology and psychology in real time with a deep focus on the corporeal aspects of dance music which many other dance music producers simply aren’t aware of, or don’t acknowledge as acutely as she does.
It’s supremely exciting, challenging and deeply gratifying music - a pinnacle of contemporary electronic music and club cultures.