Published Aug 14, 2019Based in London, emerging DJ/producer J-Shadow has joined the likes of Mumdance, Bruce, Batu, Joe and Otik in approaching UK bass music from outside the traditional confines of scenes and genres, while trying to find the perfect balance between club-ready production and cerebral ideas.
On J-Shadow's Embers, IDM and UK bass music sensibilities are confounded and pressed through the filter of grime's cold, hollowed-out and energetic template. Going beyond the realm of the dance floor, the British artist is less concerned in making conventional beats than making carefully crafted, rhythmic soundscapes, evoking a virtual dream-like universe where no predictable structures necessarily exist. This can be heard on "Embers" and "The Awakening," which both twist and turn between scattershot percussion, heavy bass and brief, quiet moments.
"No Gravity" follows suit, but speeds things up and adds direct callbacks to UK rave's olden days (something that is very trendy right now). Genre chameleon Danny Scrilla offers up his expertise, and remixes this last track into a comparatively straightforward, though no less visceral, drum & bass number. And Etch, a co-founder of Bun the Grid, rounds things out with his retouch of "The Awakening," where a low rumble underscores the dread-filled, built-up tension.
It's a sound that is hard to describe. While artists that partake in this decade-old, "UK Bass" quasi-genre definitely influence one another, each of them also seeks to create their own personal style. And like them, J-Shadow takes bits and pieces from the whole continuum of British rave to create something that sounds both new and atemporal. (Bun the Grid)