Boomkat Product Review:
Yeah this one’s a lot; Jay Glass Dubs on a velvet Trip Hop tip, three years in the making and saturated with pop-styled vocals by an illustrious roll call; Christina Vantzou, Richard Youngs, Spivak, Louis Onuorah Chude-Sokei, and more. It’s an effortlessly complex consolidation of myriad styles, guided by ideas of dub and art as life method and philosophy - a huge tip if yr feeling that recent a.s.o killer, or into King Midas Sound, John T. Gast, Leslie Winer, Seefeel.
Between 2015 and 2020, Athens’ Dimitris Papadatos aka Jay Glass Dubs made an indelible impression with a consistent stream of records for the best DIY labels that manifested his faithful, yet iconoclastic, take on dub principles. Working with and remodelling work by everyone from the “godmother of trip hop” Leslie Winer to Carmen Villain, MC Yallah and Not Waving, his style of “inverted dub” rendered a low key radical review of dub’s prevailing influence in the modern day, as porous to roots reggae, dancehall and UK steppers as it was to kosmic Euro and post-punk, spiritual jazz, microtonal folk modes and new age ambient.
After an unusually long lapse between LP’s, Jay deftly allows those circles to bleed most beautifully on ‘You Would Love Me Now’; a lush, melancholic and poetic collection of songs that amount to a definitive solo opus. The album is paradoxically comforting and full of love, a curious, contemplative work that’s cognisant of negative space and dread. It’s a fine balance that has always been there in Jay Glass Dubs music, but heard here most completely, with a sense of purpose that comes from a lifetime absorbing and transmuting influence. These are proper songs, with enough murk and magic in the margins to keep it open-ended and suggestively dreamy.
Acquaintances and accomplices old and new accentuate the album with timeless spirits. Afro-American scholar and author Louis Onuorah Chude-Sokei appears on opener ‘Innocent Again’, while the album’s lush titular instrumental offers a heave of slowed dub techno and ethereal pop modes harnessed to varying degrees of pressure across the LP. Cypriot spar Spivak rides the dub on ‘Narcissus’, and new blood Marcella - a musician, tutor, singer and fiction writer - lights up two highlights with Lynchian woo, while Jay’s hero, Scottish avant auteur Richard Youngs is found keening into full voice on a loping dub lament.
Jay’s fascinations with myth and romance guide the closing contrast of X YPNO's drill-styled delivery of Cypriot dialect on the looming ‘Djiami’, and Christina Vantzou patently shares Leslie Winer’s proto-trip hop appeal in ‘Wild Terrier’, bringing the curtain down on an album of filigree, inter-woven cycles of influence and feedback that are coiled into JGD’s finest and most resonant work to date.