Jacksonville: The Summer Thief / Monochrome Session
Doppler Records

Some things never change—which is sometimes a good thing, a case in point being Jacksonville's The Summer Thief. Like Leeds, UK-based producer Chris Lyth's previous Jacksonville releases on Doppler Records, the latest two-track single arrives with next to no clarifying information as well as an arresting animal-themed label illustration as a visual identity. A bit of time has passed between the new release and the three EPs he released in 2012—Sometime Shortwave, The Twilight Industries, and Views from Trains—but the Jacksonville house sound remains as fresh and pleasure-inducing as ever on the eighteen-minute single.

A svelte mid-tempo groover, the title cut slinks surreptitiously into view armed with a pulsating disco bass and silken synth swirls before an off-beat hi-hat pattern kicks the track into gear. The richly hued tune gradually broadens out, its synth-bass elements deepening and arrangement expanding to include snare strikes, trippy swirls, and voice accents so blurry and echo-drenched the words are rendered indecipherable. By comparison, the accompanying cut, “Monochrome Session,” seems to be more focused on the club floor in its raw funk-house feel. With a repetitive, three-note bass motif as an anchor, the tune slowly blossoms until it becomes a drifting panorama of synth smears, skipping snares, and scalpel-sharp hi-hats. Only one question remains: how long will it be until the next Jacksonville outing?

December 2013