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  • Filed under: Review
  • 05/01/2012

Jamie Jones feat. Art Department Our Time in Liberty

The last few years have witnessed UK DJ/producer Jamie Jones rise to the top of the house and techno scene using a signature formula. Jones' tunes are characterized by funky basslines in an exceptionally low register, hypnotic and often dissonant synths, and a dark, minimalist aesthetic. While this method has netted Jones quite a collection of high-caliber dancefloor successes, the pieces don't quite come together on "Our Time in Liberty," which ends up feeling entirely too dissonant and lacks his typical groove.

The centerpiece of "Our Time in Liberty" is its bassline, which, in typical Jones fashion, is constructed of pitches so low that one seems to feel the vibrations as much as hear them. That said, the bassline doesn't have an engrossing rhythm, instead hiccupping along in an irregular, unharmonious scale. Art Department's Kenny Glasgow speaks the line "I know this time" over the introductory bass, and adds the similar, but sung, line "I know it's the time" after chilling synth pads have crept in. The lines are echoed continuously over the course of the song's nine minutes, but don't add a distinguishable melody to the song, and become tedious after the first dozen or so repetitions. Synth chords make up the song's primary melodic component, but they progress in a dissonant and awkward fashion, which, combined with the vocals, feels off-key. Furthermore, the rhythmic pattern of the stabs seems rushed, and stutters about in a similar manner to the bassline.

Brighton's Russ Yallop improves the tune on his remix, most notably by giving the bassline more bounce and forward momentum. Yallop's leading synth stabs are also an upgrade, and the songs' first drop, which arrives three minutes in, has the potential for emotional resonance. Both versions of "Our Time in Liberty" are sure to get extensive club play, but transition options for DJs will be limited, as neither tune mixes particularly well with more melodic pieces. At any rate, the song will likely be a hit among those who crave more of Jones' tried-and-true recipe, but overall serves as a weak introduction to Jones' forthcoming sophomore LP, Songs From The Crypt, on which the tune will also appear.

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