Electronic music is often looked down upon as lazy and their producers as laptop musicians. And certainly, the prevalence of atmospheric ambience is frequent or some may resort to a flurry of drums to flesh out a track. But as the statement suggests, these are all just contrived and ill-conceived judgements that merely seek to generalise. But for the purposes of this review, let’s say that these naysayers are correct. Well…I have something that may sway them. Jumo’s Nomade EP.
Courtesy of the rapidly rising French label Nowadays Records, Jumo’s latest EP introduces us to his forward-thinking soundscapes. But don’t be alarmed if this isn’t a warm welcome. Instead of a hand leading you through, you’re enticed by intricate layers and deft clicks in the distance and motivated by your own curiosity. Afterall, as Jumo attests himself, the EP is about “nomadism, emptiness and movement”.
And move you shall as the auditory world around you deconstructs and reassembles itself in ways that seemed impossibl. Take ‘Aléa’ for example, an innocent melody greets you only to be swooped up and carried on the back of a hefty bassline while glitchy vocal samples soar above. The slow-burning ‘Pli’ on the other hand seems to metamorphose so discreetly; you wonder where the track placed you at the start.
The title track best encapsulates the EP though. This isn’t just another ambient electronic record. There are so many other layers that interweave between the wistful drones while trapped out beats knit it all together into a rather pleasant experience. There’s a great appreciation of space too for the layers to swell and echo around you.
But ‘Désert’ shows us what the darker side of nomadism represents. The detuned drones and glitchy beats allude to a fractured existence while ominous tribal beats loom. It’s a dark offering for the dying hours of the night when everyone else has meandered home and you’re still stomping away.é
I hate to be unequivocal, especially because it’s so rare for me but this is one of those electronic records that seems to transcend space and time. I know that sounds horrifically hyperbolic but that’s just how much I love this EP. And it’s not the multi-disciplinary approach that Jumo takes, it’s not the squeaky clean production or the delicate touch to layer-building he has. It’s about how that all comes together into seven succinctly arranged tracks. So yes, this may have been made on a laptop, but lazy? No way.
Nomade EP is due for release on 20th May via Nowadays Records