Jacksonville: Fragments EP
Inner Shift Music

Edinburgh-based producer Chris Lyth typically issues his Jacksonville material on his own Doppler Records, but for whatever reason his latest outing, a four-track vinyl release, comes to us by way of Inner Shift Music, an Edinburgh-based label operated by Brad P and Rai Scott. Based on the evidence at hand, Doppler's loss is most definitely Inner Shift's gain as the Fragments EP presents twenty-six minutes of some of the best Jacksonville material I've heard to date.

While the track titles “Fragment One” and “Fragment Two” might suggest some unfinished quality, there's nothing unpolished about the material in question. On the contrary, the cuts are sleek and rousing affairs elevated by jacking house beats, rich synthesizer textures, and nocturnal splendour. Without careening out of control, the tracks work themselves up to respectively feverish, near-ecstatic states and seduce the listener with their luscious, synth-heavy arrangements and uplift.

The EP's jubilant vibe carries over to the B side with “Seberg”—a homage by Lyth to Jean Seberg, the late actress forever immortalized for her role in Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless (À bout de souffle)?—proving to be even more bubbly than the opening pair, especially when Lyth animates the track with a hard-grooving, infectious swing. “Every Single Word” changes things up beautifully by ending the recording on a soulful note, the tempo slightly slower than the other tracks and fragments of soulful vocalizing sprinkled across the tune's bass-throbbing pulse. Don't be thrown by the title: the EP's tracks are anything but fragmentary; if anything, they're as satisfying as anything else in the Jacksonville discography.

January 2015