Unauthorised item in the bagging area

Friday 25 August 2023

Jezebellearic Beats

Jezebell's end of summer album hits the digital shelves today, a twenty track monster titled Jezebellearic Beats Volume 1- the artwork for the album borrows/ pays homage to the original Dave Little sleeve art for the classic 1988 Balearic Beats album. The music Darren and Jesse make as Jezebell shifts between boundaries and blurs lines, between club and poolside, between dancefloor banger and early evening livener, between sunset and sunrise, and between sampling and editing. All these can be found on Jezebellearic Beats Volume 1. About half of the tracks have been released previously and some have featured here in the course of the last two years- the eight minute summer 2022 epic Jezebellearic, the twelve minute soft- rock/ soul dreamscape of Jezeblue from earlier this summer, the beatier Concurrence, the low slung, just setting out fun of Trading Places (11AM) and its more upbeat, more up for it cousin Trading Places (3PM), the spaced out dubby Balearic chanson of Jezebell et Moi, Can't Cope's echo- laden swirls and early 90s trippiness. 

Within this album there are traces of other people, samples of vocals and instruments; Laurie Anderson, Beastie Boys and Money Mark, DJ Alfredo, Max Berlins, Herb Alpert, Julian Cope, Talking Heads, and David Byrne and Brian Eno are among those who show up, making themselves known within Jesse and Darren's chuggy/ cosmic/ Balearic/ indie- dance grooves. There are Rich Lane re- masters and a pair of remixes too, their blissed out remix of D:Ream's Pedestal and the Jezebell version of Red Shift by Man 2.0. There are many new tracks as well, not least the closer Swamp Shuffle, which is perfectly named. 

Jezebellearic Beats is infused with the spirit of acid house, the irreverence of an anything goes attitude coupled with a love of the music and a respect for those who came before. When I posted Jezeblue back in July I suggested that the slowed down and blissed out summer groove of the song was as much about memory as about music, about the way that memories make us who we are. Jesse said that all music is (for him) about memories that are just out of reach- 'not personal memories but... a collective memory just out of everyone's reach'. That feeling can be found all the way through this album- there are plenty of feel good, uptempo moments too, music for dancing and for parties but they're alongside something that feels much more fluid and less tangible, music that skips between boundaries and limits and leaves you in a different, better place from the one it found you in. 

Jezebellearic Beats Volume 1 is available at Bandcamp from today, pay what you want/ for free. 


Khayem said...

A great write up, Adam, especially that closing line, "music that skips between boundaries and limits and leaves you in a different, better place from the one it found you in".

I love the new tracks too, David Byrne (& Eno) in the pun-tastic Burning Bush, again with Talking Heads for Swamp Shuffle and the nod to the Balearic Beats album with Jibaro in Barothers.

I don't know how Jesse and Darren do it, but I'm very grateful that they do!

Swiss Adam said...

Just spotted you've written about it today as well Khayem- love it when a sample appears and then the penny drops and you (I) recognise it. Happened a couple of times while listening to JB Vol 1.