Jumping Back Slash spent most of the past two years being one of the most quietly prolific electronic artists working today. It’s something he’s bragged about, this relentless work ethic. It’s also something you hear the fruits of with each passing release, not with any degradation of quality, but with an increasing boldness and determination to explore the many realms of electronic music (where dance can happen but isn’t a strict requisite).
A lot of this might be attributed to the instinctive backlash the producer received during the height of his gqom-inspired days. As expected as the criticism might be for a Brit living in South Africa reaping creative rewards abroad from it, it’s felt a shame that it came at what might be seen as a creative peak for him. It’s a good thing that nobody told JBS himself that he was supposed to be peaking, because as 2016 rolled around and the amazing Mshini Music series of EPs appeared on his soundcloud with a more terse, more ‘techno’ sound, it was clear he was nowhere near done.
It’s in this light that Slow Oceans, his upcoming EP on London-based imprint Cotch Intl. (his first for a while in general, and first for eons on a label) takes greater significance. It seemed he wanted to make a statement with the work, and now – with the release of the first single from the project – we see what that vision is.
‘Signs in the Stream’ with the highly experimental, highly adaptable vocalist Hlasko, premiered on Bubblegum Club on Tuesday. The work is paradoxically tough and ornate, lumbering in it’s foundation yet nimble in pace with an arrangement from out of nowhere in established contemporary dance music, building in intensity toward the song’s conclusion.
Sneak peaks of other tracks from the EP also appeared in Dazed Magazine’s Radar Radio show, as well as in his exclusive mix for Kid Fonque’s 5fm #SelectiveStyles show.
Slow Oceans EP is out Friday 27 Jan.
UPDATE: The second single, also featuring Hlasko, ‘Khula Naye’, has just been premiered on The Ransom Note: