Jega – Variance Jega – Variance

Jega - Variance

Jega - Variance

We all download music. Some of us use legal sources like MP3 stores, others go down a less legal route. The repercussions of the latter are often brushed over due to the ridiculous claims massive corporations make about profit loss or whatever it is that get their collective knickers in a twist. Rarely do we take the time to think about the individual. The musician behind the music, not the company looking to gain from it. I guess that’s a product of there being very few outbursts from the independent labels and the DIY bands (ignoring one Bradford Cox, of course). Take a moment to think about Dylan Nathan, LA-based IDM producer. In ’03 a version of his “Variance” album leaked onto the internet causing Jega to mothball the project entirely and begin again from scratch. That is what I call an injustice.

So, now another 6 years in the making, Jega has really kept us waiting. Anticipation can be a bad thing, especially when hype is involved. I can assure you, the wait was well worth it.

Split into a two disc release, we have the first collection of songs which are a more subdued, downbeat experience. Warm ambient tracks with glitchy clicks and lots of hearty bass drones are plentiful. “Sakura” sounds as if it could have been something close to a Boards Of Canada b-side. It’s a “nice” record, if not a little repetitive.

The real sustenance is found on disc 2 where things pick up a lot. The second set of songs have much more in common with the Warp drill’n’bass crowd than the warm hip hop influenced ambience of the previous. Comparisons to Aphex Twin and Autechre can be fairly made here.

Beginning with a short intro and then into “Shibuya”, a rather spastic sounding Autechre/Jungle crossover, we have a vague idea of what is coming. Continuing through the record, we’re treated to some wonderful glitched out, breakbeat EDM. The album comes to a climax with “Hydrodynamic” which is the most volatile, relentless track on this album, coming across as almost Breakcore with a soft side.

The only real problem I have with “Variance” is the stark contrast between each disc where there’s little resemblance between either shown anywhere. Occasionally, you might come across what might sound like an unfinished idea too but I can let Jega off for that. He’s given us enough music to justify the long absence.

Track Listing:

1. SoulFlute
2. Antiphon
3. Moment
4. The Girl Who Fell To Earth
5. Sakura
6. Eva
7. Dreams
8. Aqueminae
9. Zenith
10. Tensor
11. Shibuya
12. Chromadynamic
13. Cascade Decoherence
14. Aerodynamic
15. Latinhypercube
16. Kyoto
17. Hydrodynamic
18. Reprise

Jega - Variance, reviewed by Heard on 2009-08-14T09:41:06-07:00 rating 3.2 out of 5

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