- The 47 EP is best understood as a companion to Gully, which came out on True Panther Sounds in August. Sprawling and diverse, both releases seem intent on demonstrating that this New York-based producer is less concerned with specific tempos and rhythms than he is with world-building. By now the aspects of Jabba's universe will be familiar: the queasy melodies, the swamp-like atmospheres, the pervasive, dark humour. But he does a good job of further enriching them here.
In places it's possible to discern Jabba's jumping-off point. Highlight "Dusty" flips a soulful sample over a skittery footwork beat in a manner akin to his Teklife affiliates. The major difference is Jabba's bizarre choice of sample, all twanging resonator guitar and burbling vocal. There are shades of footwork in "Silencer" too—at first—but from those perky beginnings things just get weirder and weirder. Somehow, without skipping a beat, we end up with a techno tune a few dozen BPM slower. You tell me.
Elsewhere, "Tea" and "Skates" offer perspectives on instrumental hip-hop. In the former it's recast as an off-colour lullaby, quaint but menacing. The latter's cool muscularity isn't a million miles away from the hip-hop hybrids of Future Brown, only Jabba favours fiddly tweaks over bold ideas. This is a defining characteristic of his work, and it can be frustrating: "Murky Moon" and "Stalka" both lack a strong grounding element. Still, it's easy to be entranced by their synth work, clammy and off-colour, like sickly skin in bad light.
B3 Murky Moon