- For a few different reasons, Jlin is regarded as an artist who's turned footwork inside out. Her rhythms are different. She tends to favour synths over samples. And her music has an uncommon depth, feeling personal rather than simply functional. This makes her an artist who doesn't need to move forwards so much as explore the space around her. The two tracks on Dark Lotus—her latest record for Planet Mu, which precedes the May release of her second album—come from the same singular world as her past work, but also chart some fresh landscapes.
This is most evident on "Nyakinyua Rise." It's possible the track's name references the Nyakinyua dancers, a famed group of Kenyan women whose descendants are engaged in a long-running land dispute with the government over the right to be resettled. Jlin has said she believes footwork's roots are essentially in Africa, and indeed, "Nyakinyua Rise" feels more overtly influenced by the continent than her prior tracks. There's a sort of circular logic at play here, with djembe and various percussion instruments cascading across the bars. "The Escape Of The Blvck Rxbbit" is more typically Jlin but is no less striking. The track features Avril Stormy Unger, an Indian choreographer and performance artist, whose longing calls punctuate angular synths and urgent drums. Jlin's music has always demanded attention, but on Dark Lotus she makes her point in a subtly different way.
A1 The Escape Of The Blvck Rxbbit feat. Avril Stormy Unger
B1 Nyakinyua Rise