jellyskin: In Brine
(Incorrect Velocity Data)
LP | CD | DL
Launched ninth June 2023
Leeds digital duo jellyskin launch their long-gestating magnum opus In Brine, an Aphex Twin-tinged tribute to the ocean. Their bass-entrenched, melancholic, noise-rock-spliced techno additionally oozes a nourishing degree of pop goodness, evoking artists like Broadcast. The band includes Will Ainsley and Zia Lea-Hartley: having met while each learning English Literature at Leeds College, an adoration for techno nights within the metropolis nurtured their relationship, in addition to the benefit with which jellyskin was born.
Throughout the album’s supremely satisfying course, with upbeat and extra sombre, melancholic balladry segueing like undulating waves, each band members contribute synth components and lyrics; Ainsley additionally integrates guitar components, and backing vocals; Lia-Hartley, in the meantime, brings superbly poppy vocals (and likewise designed the hanging album cowl). This holistic high quality – of every half of the group collectively performing some musical duties, and utilising their full skills individually elsewhere – is firmly felt via the album’s different however wholly centered, exact physique.
Equally, In Brine has a steadiness of avant-garde digital worship and pop indulgence. The album marries a pop jouissance that evokes powerhouse artists like Sharon Van Etten or Caroline Polachek, alongside the avant-garde electronics of Aphex Twin and Gazelle Twin, with the extra noisome, bellicose rumblings of Petbrick’s acid-fried techno storm. With this seamless smoothie of melodic sweetness and fractious, discordant noise, the duo are additionally harking back to Petbrick; traces of the digital noise-rock duo’s labelmate J. Zunz, and her mesmeric, repetition-laden synth spectacles, additionally seem on In Brine. By means of their love of techno, nevertheless, Ainsley and Lea-Hartley faucet into an altogether totally different, barely extra hedonistic and seductive pressure of engrossing avant-garde techno.
For a spread of causes – from pandemic-related to reaching the proper combine and imaginative and prescient as a complete – In Brine took form from 2018-2022. This clear imaginative and prescient was additionally honed by Berlin-based co-producer, mixer and masterer Lewis D-t. Its prolonged gestation proved to be massively rewarding, bringing a number of advantages: one, the crystalline mixing; one other, the tracklist, spinning via peaks and troughs of pulsing techno bangers and hypnagogic poppy ballads in zealous, zany vogue. It is usually bookended by impeccable greatness.
Elevate (Come In), revolving round a keenness for elevators, welcomes the ears into jellyskin’s sonic world each actually and figuratively, because the doorways open onto a refreshing surroundings of beguiling electronics and vocals. That includes an entrancing, catchy spoken phrase chorus and a chic seabed of burgeoning synths, an addictively enigmatic guitar interlude dulcifies the digital murkiness. The shocking, refreshing guitar half additionally speaks to the unpredictability of the album (and band usually).
Larty-Hartley’s pop-indebted, iridescent vocals and lyrics improve Fox Once more, an already idyllic monitor shaped by synapse-unsettling, sweeping synths akin to these made by Richard D. James. These two opposed but complimentary components end in one of many album’s most noxious, haunting but divine combos.
Musical and lyrical intrigue flows in abundance on Rooster, Milk and Oranges. Intense and dryly emitted, Zia Lea-Hartley evokes Caroline Polachek’s distinctive vocal supply over one other relentless techno beat; the lyrical slant – an unfurling narrative of an uncommon purchasing listing trio – shows the band’s capability to transmogrify the mundane into one thing summary and actually memorable.
Marmalade and 52 blue, in the meantime, provide one other jellyskin side: each are primordial electro bangers propelled by the melodic verve of Broadcast however emboldened by the Leeds band’s personal melding of wrought noise. The latter is a characteristically sea-based subject on the ’52-Hz whale’, ‘the loneliest whale on this planet’; the whale that emits calls at a far larger pitch than regular, stopping its voice being acquired by potential mates. The monitor’s irresistible, thumping escapism, and lyrics echoing the whale’s combat towards isolation, really feel like a commentary of accepting loss at the same time as a ‘huge sturdy man’; loneliness and the like must be, to some extent, embraced whether it is to be overcome, no matter dimension or species.
Alongside aquatic ideas, the lyrical themes stretch to metaphors linking the ocean to virtually ubiquitous emotional territory. Self-discovery, adaptation, and evolution swim amongst the nautical realm too, via imagery of traversing the ocean and land; in the same problem to which some sort out barre terrains scorched by capitalism, racism, and extra. Tetrapod points these emotions, however the entire album’s sonic waves are additionally soaked in them.
Irresistibly dance-inducing, motorik-ish, relentless synth beats make In Brine emphatically cohesive, whereas nuanced touches – area recordings, off-kilter guitar, poppish but numerous vocals – present a singular, inexplicable high quality. Not solely a vital digital magnum opus, jellyskin’s debut is a listening crucial for 2023 and past.
In Brine is launched June ninth on Incorrect Velocity Data. Purchase right here.
Phrases by James Kilkenny. See his Louder than Battle archive right here.
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