Boomkat Product Review:
Jay Glass Dubs’ metamorphosis into avant-dub-noise songwriting sloshes to new high water marks in ’Soma’, following a pair of ace twelves with a full 2LP of all-over-the-place brilliance for Berceuse Heroique, somewhere between @mbient pop, gnashing junglist drums and squashed trip hop - often all at once.
Keening between trampling, wrenched roots abstractions and sanguine dream-pop featuring vocals by Young Echo’s Jasmine Butt (Jabu), Athens-based Georgia Karidi, and newcomer Spivak, ’Soma’ continues the direction of JGD’s last few years into forms of alter-pop that come to resemble modernists such as Arca, but still with that primitive-futurist appeal rooted in dub and Greek myth.
The label cannily beckon you to think of the LP in terms of a “palimpsest”, or eternally overwritten work, where the scars and DNA of life, the voices of Bristol, Detroit electro and the amen break are overlaid in a complex, pagan-sacred geometry - everything at once - with hazy forms emerging from the ’Soma’, which translates from Greek as “Body”. But to put conceptual baggage aside, the results hit heavy and direct on the soul and locked down limbs.
Highlights such as ‘Your Raps’ balance a rude looseness with puckered melodies and almost gospel-like harmonies, and ‘Our Reversed Uniforms’ forges a trance arp-wrought trip hop featuring Spivak, smudged up against what sounds like Arca’s alien pop ballads in ‘The Wrong Frame’, and gnashing high velocity dance music in ‘Wagon Prophet’ that betrays influence from deep central and Eastern Africa in the modern day, while ‘Now Set Up’ is a wickedly dramatic, innovative spin on UK D&B rolige.