Jam City // Classical Curves // May 28 // Night Slugs
While there is no such thing as scientific music, Jam City’s debut LP Classical Curves certainly brings to mind subject like geometry, mathematics and physics. For an electronic album with a name like Classical Curves, Jam City’s first attempt at a long player feels extremely ironed out and rigid, electronic music that isn’t typical dance stuff. It’s a single idea that requires neither questions nor answers.
Coming out on Night Slugs, Jam City’s AKA Jack Lytham’s first album under this name feels futuristic and old school at the same time. The music on here is linear, hard and very rigid. Imagine the generic future with chrome and iron everywhere you look. Classical Curves is basically the soundtrack to that, featuring future analogue sound and samples of mechanical stuff. Camera shutters, something that sounds like freight being lifted all around the place. Even the vocal samples on here sound metallic. In the light of more and more people realising that electronic music can be just as soulful as anything out there, Classical Curves feels like a regressive record, one that reinforces the idea that electronic sounds have no life.
It’s not that you’d expect anything else coming out on Night Slugs would you? It’s a label that makes a living signing producers that sound like they’re using old school instruments to create a neo-futuristic albums. Classical Curves is a never stopping assembly line, a single idea stretched out to 45 minutes. There is some light to it in the form of Her, The Courts and the double Hyatt Park Nights, tracks that can use their streamlined repetition to be both memorable, danceable and slightly ridiculous. Love Is Real on the other hand is the longest track on here clocking in at nearly 7 minutes and it has that feeling of early Kraftwerk where experimentation and out there sounds are put before anything that reminds melody or a pattern. Even more out of place is the closer The Nite Life which features Main Attrakionz being completely pointless. Jam City’s music goes against the recent success of mixing raps with experimental electronic music. If anything, it’s a trip into something familiar that never happened.
Classical Curves lives up to its name then. It depicts the sort of future that people expected this decade to be. You know, people actually thought that by now we’d have flying cars and all that. Jam City is lost in that idea. The music on here isn’t something completely uncommon to what bedroom producers are churning out but for something that’s based on one idea lost in time, Classical Curves feels lost in the wrong time at the wrong time.