Jlin - Black Origami
Anyone who has ever listened to Jlin before knows that you have to be ready for an experience. She works in the Footwork genre, which may be foreign to some but is a very frantic post house dance sound. Think what Post Rock is to Rock and Roll Footwork is a like reaction to House. There is almost always a beat, but then the experimentation begins and once in Jlin's hands can take damn near any shape she pleases. The second track "Enigma" has this very African percussive vibe to it but very grounded with a strong dance beat and eventually focuses almost solely on the dance sounds leaving the African ones to fall away. If this sounds a bit heady, you're right. Her music is incredibly cerebral and complex, it is not about giving in and letting the music overtake you, it is more about interacting and dissecting it. Yet Jlin's music can stand up to scrutiny so well almost anything you throw at it it is able to repel and be solely it's own thing. For most of the record Jlin doesn't work with the sounds we are used to hearing from Footwork, it is almost like she has drilled the sound down so far that only the really essential elements remain, and those could be just percussion or something similar. It's just fascinating to dive into the record and try and see where she is going or what she is trying to get across. You are almost overwhelmed with how much is going on with Black Origami from start to finish, but in the best possible way.
"Holy Child" is on some kind of other level taking you from Outer Space back into Egyptian times then down into whatever is left of Atlantis. That is actually how it feels! This record also feels a bit more experimental than her last, she is so free and the songs reflect that freedom. "Nyakinyua Rise" has this chopped up vocal that in the hands of anyone else would sound so annoying, but not with Jlin, she makes it work every single time. "Hatshepsut" sort of sounds like what you would expect from an experimental dance album or at least uses similar elements. Because the album is so dense it can start to feel like a bit to much as you near the end. It is just an all out assault on your senses, but not in an aggressive way, if that even makes sense. Black Origami manages to so many things all at once, but then also be so refined. This is not music for everyone, likely not even most people, but if you really give it a chance and but in to what Jlin is doing the experience is going to so very worth it. Do me a solid and give this record a spin, you won't regret it.
8.8 out of 10