Compilations / Mixes
King Deluxe's premiere vinyl release from Vancouver outfit Evy Jane is also one of the label's most satisfying to date. The project pools the talents of singer/keyboardist Evelyn Jane Mason and beatmeister Jeremiah Klein, whose heady brand of slow-motion bass music we'd liken to trip-hop if it didn't risk turning listeners away from soulful material that definitely deserves to be heard. The disc's only downside is that, not counting remixes, it includes two Evy Jane tracks only, leaving the listener hungry for more.
Merge a snare's high-pitched pop, a narcotic haze of crackle, and Mason's sensual murmur (uttering lines like “There was something in the things you gave me / I was losing all my self-control”), wrap it in a lulling, quasi-dubstep beat pattern and gently swirling synth chords and you end up with the entrancing “Sayso” where Mason's breathy warble is so blurry, one must use a micro-lense to decode the haunting chorus (“Didn't I tell you / Not to be so kind to me?”). The recording's second original, “Ohso,” is slightly more animated, with the broken beat pulse conveying an urgency and foreward thrust less evident in the opener. The synths surge a bit more forcefully, too, even if Mason's voice is as languorous here as it is in the other cut—at least until a falsetto episode kicks in to amplify the overall energy level. It's skeletal (in the classic dub sense) but mesmerizing nonetheless, with every sound signifying meaningfully.
Four remixes follow, two for each original (the vinyl includes two remixes only, whereas the digital version includes ones by Julien Mier and Andy Dixon). In the strongest of the lot, Vancouverite Max Ulis recasts “Ohso” as a hard-grooving club track, and the treatment works fabulously, especially when it undergirds Mason's entrancing vocal with the insistence of a shuffling house pulse that's like a sped-up Burial groove. Dixon, also Vancouver-based, normalizes “Ohso” by turning it into a glossy electro-pop confection that one might conceivably hear in between singles by Britney Spears and Nicki Minaj. Cloaking the track in a deep dub-wise throb, Taal Mala pushes “Sayso” even further into the narcoticized murk; in stark contrast, Dutch producer Julien Mier lifts it into the open air where sparkles of sunlight and a stuttering, double-time beat illuminate it. While I'll take four originals and two remixes any day over two of the former and four of the latter, there's no question the guests offer dramatically different spins on Evy Jane's originals.