Boomkat Product Review:
Jam City’s game-changing debut flexes its chrome contours on a 10th anniversary, expanded edition with his Earthly label, marking an apotheosis of sleek sound design, coiled mechanics and deadly sexiness for years to come.
When it arrived in 2012 to fanfare from FACT's Kiran Sande, who declared it among the era’s pivotal LPs, “Classical Curves’ sounded quite unlike anything else in reach. It shared a lust for the lustre of late ‘80s FM synthesis with 0PN, a liquid-hipped funk with Prince, and an effortlessly rugged-but-sensuous chassis with the best Bok Bok and Night Slugs releases, but all put together in a way that dripped a futuristic charm all of its own. 10 years later its seductively stripped back construction is ripe for reappraisal on this Special Edition - a definitive throw-back to the early decade’s rush of inspiration from dance music’s classical forms, warped and buckled to taste with a relatively DIY set-up that showed how big, flashy studio sounds could be executed with modest means.
Between its poetically evocative song titles and brain curdling sound design ingenuity, ‘Classical Curves’ unlocked a new zone of exploration for electronic and club musics. All A E S T H E T I C with a derious mutable soul, it located a devil in the details and blossomed new ideas in the cracks between styles, dialling up the most salient aspects of 30 years of club and studio tekkerz in a stunningly finessed example of how not to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
From the Hollywood promise of ‘Backseat Becomes a Zone While We Glide’, to the aero-soul thizz of ‘B.A..’ and mission statement ‘How We Relate to The Body’, it offered a new sort of approach to dance music that re-aligned a classic club sensuality with grimier economics, hailing Wiley and Wizzbit as much as Prince and Ben Cenac in the likes of ‘Strawberries’ or ‘Love is Real’, with ‘The Nite Lite’ firming up its links to rap and R&B of The Dream as much as the cloud rap movement that expanded in its wake. Practically no other template from that era holds up quite so well to the light in ’22, timelessly future-proofing the album for time to come.