J. Albert – Wake Me Up (Hypercolour)

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UK-based electronic producer Jiovanni Nadal has been releasing tracks under his J. Albert alias since 2014, and he’s certainly been prolific in the intervening years, with a steady stream of 12” releases on labels including Black Opal and his own Exotic Dance Records. Following on from 2017’s ‘All The Things’, this second 12” EP on Hypercolour ‘Wake Me Up’ sees Nadal fusing stripped-back broken rhythms with electro and bass music music elements, to consistently unpredictable and intriguing effect.

Opening track ‘Wake Me Up’ provides a muscular robotic work-out as snapping broken rhythms flex against growling sub-bass distortion and dubbed-out spoken vocals, the rippling snare rolls adding a slight footwork undertow to the post-dubstep bass pressure.

By contrast, ‘World War Me’ gets more abstracted, emerging out of an opening section of scattershot reverb-treated snare rolls into darting acid synth squiggles and echoing harmonic tones, the arrhythmic beat signatures seeming to take on more coherence as the various textural elements assemble around them, before a buzzing power-line style sub-bass drone assumes the foreground, sending an ominous chill down the spine.

On the flipside, ‘Paradolia’ offers up the real banger here, sending a bass-heavy electro groove riding against snapping snare ricochets and rippling phased synth stabs, in what’s easily this EP’s most hiphop-informed moment, before ‘Joy Of Rebirth’ brings this EP to a close with a flash of colour, sending skipping drum and bass-inflected breakbeats rolling against soulful keys and liquid-sounding melodic flourishes, the surprisingly robust breakdowns tossing a disruptive spanner into the works as ominous sub-bass swells lurk in the background. In truth it’s hard to pick favourites here, as it’s all that good.

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