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Jason Urick and Jason Willet, "Friendship - Trip 03"

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This split single presents two very different takes on art damaged rhythm music. While both cuts are rooted in popular dance idioms (Dub, Afro-Beat, Drum & Bass), Urick and Willet seem more interested in demolishing genre conventions than cultivating them.  They share a penchant for wobbly, amorphous productions that incite more head-scratching than ass-shaking.


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Jason Willett - Friendship - Trip 03

If names were all that counted, “All Night Moisturizer” would stand with my favorite tracks of last year.  At once banal and suggestive, the title would be perfect for some slick piece of electro-funk. As it is, Willet’s track is more belligerent than seductive. He piles up skittering break-beats over piercing, needle-like bursts of sound. Superficially, the rhythm programming recalls Squarepusher or Aphex Twin’s more aggressive moments, but Willet never assembles his electronics into anything as clinically precise.

The flip side, “Si Na Min,” emits a more laid-back vibe, but in a way that emphasizes its rhythm instead of blunting it. Urick lays down a thick cloud of audio haze where muffled voices shout and grunt in some kind slow-motion abandon. The track is in fact a remix of a song by the West African group El Rego et Ses Commandos, from the excellent compilation African Scream Club. Eventually, a portion of the original groove emerges, built from interlocking horn and drum samples that undulate beneath a heavy bed of metallic reverb.

Both Urick and Willet make fresh noise from established genres, but the results are more tantalizing than satisfying. Both cuts work towards a kind of rhythmic crescendo, but within the short format of the single, there isn’t enough time for them to build tension. The two seem to be reaching for some dissociative groove where the mind moves as much as the body. For that, they need a larger canvas.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 April 2010 16:19  


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