Jacksonville: Sometime Shortwave

As per usual, next to no information accompanies the latest release from Underground house label Doppler Records, though at the very least we can report that it's the latest in a small string of releases issued by the Leeds, UK-based producer Jacksonville: first there was Trix in 2009, Valparaiso and Saturn 5 in 2010, and now comes the proverbially short-but-sweet two-tracker Sometime Shortwave.

Emerging from a vinyl crackle-drenched fog, “Lost in Delaware” grows progressively more urgent as its eight minutes tick by. A slinky downtempo groove and a thudding bass pulse get things moving, after which Jacksonville adds ambient washes and assorted percussive colour (bongos, cymbals) and, as the music grows funkier with the inclusion of a swinging hi-hat house pattern, echo-drenched voices that are liberally stretched into dub-like waves. In what comes across as more of a moodscape than throwdown, “Lost in Delaware” concentrates more on cultivating atmosphere than filling the dance floor, even if the groove's certainly punchy enough to get bodies moving. By comparison, “Sometime Shortwave” is a classic, midtempo house cut that works its magic surreptitiously though no less potently for doing so. Jacksonville eases the listener into the tune with a buoyant, jacking skip that's subtly augmented by an equally nimble-footed bass line, near-subliminal guitar licks, and silken synth chords. If the primary concern in “Lost in Delaware” has to do with mood, then “Sometime Shortwave” could be said to be primarily about groove. You reach the end of the recording feeling much the same way you did upon reaching the end of the others: it's over before you know it, and you're left hungry for more.

January 2012