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  • Filed under: Review
  • 07/08/2013

Jordan GCZ Crybaby J

On last year's Techno Primitivism LP, Juju & Jordash's music felt like a world unto itself. As such, its detour into accessibility was "Track David Would Play," a dismissively titled number that jokingly referenced Move D. There's a queasy edge to the pair's constantly evolving jams—they reference techno/house tropes and classic hardware, yet the results usually feel like something broadcast from a proximal dimension. That unpredictable drift is preserved on Jordan "Jordash" Czamanski's first solo 12" as Jordan GCZ, which is also the debut release on his Off Minor label. "Crybaby J" invokes deep house as an excuse to slip away on jammy tangents, especially a scene-stealing wah-wah synth line that gives the track its name. The drums' shuffle is tense against reassuring synth pads, but when that flanging solo makes its appearances—full of "Maggot Brain" and On the Corner–type import—it practically blots everything else out. The oscillating focus creates a time-dilating effect, slowing down during the lead parts and speeding up until it unravels in wordless vocal harmonies and a starry-eyed music box.

The dub mix erases the synth solo, leaving behind eraser dust that preserves the original track as a quiet mulch of samples in the background. "Crybaby J (Dub Mix)"'s even surface allows for a more linear, steady development, giving the same steady vibe of tightly controlled, accumulating momentum as Steffi's recent Panorama Bar 05. Ping-ponging vocal samples like some Art of Noise record and an arpeggio upgraded to center stage give it an enthusiasm that keeps it from being too studied, though. The more expressive aspects of the a-side are turned inward, at least until he introduces a jazz-fusion bass solo—this time, it's pitched somewhere between Jaco Pastorius and Squarepusher. Jordan GCZ only flirts with cheese, diverting that energy back into the tracks—the results are subtle, but his willingness to take risks in the first place is what makes this 12" unique.

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