J-Zbel, Low Jack, U-202 - Rends L'argent

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  • Rends L'argent means "give the money back," a phrase that went viral earlier this year following an embezzlement scandal involving François Fillon, the French right-wing politician. The artwork has other sly nods to his downfall—there's the celebratory glass of wine held by Ron Morelli, who contributes a track here as U-202, and a shout-out, in the bottom right-hand corner, to the "Minister Of Police." The EP also celebrates the third anniversary of Brothers From Different Mothers, whose tracks—puckish combos of breakbeat, jungle, rave, IDM and techno—have shown a similarly irreverent sense of humour. BFDM regulars J-Zbel best embody that attitude, and they contribute two tracks, "Nik Molina" and "Selecta (Neuneu Anthem #5)." Both promise explosive surges but, unlike past material, they sometimes resist the urge to let go. Gated vocal synths carry "Nik Molina"'s early momentum, with soft acid bubbles and simple hi-hat patterns that add shape. You expect the chunky mid-tempo breakbeats to burst forward, but they instead withdraw at each breakdown. The more insistent "Selecta (Neuneu Anthem #5)" shows J-Zbel's knack for bringing together slapstick and solemnity. The vocals ("selecta!"), the cowbells, the ad-libbed arps and the rewinds are a laugh; the sunrise pads and synths that arrive later are sheer bliss. The transcendent mood turns sour on the B-side. Low Jack's "Ice Formula Riddim" has a low-key psychedelic feel, in which muggy guitar reverb hangs over a brisk dancehall drum pattern. Its stillest moments, where ghosts of dub seem to lurk, are a stoner's delight. "Whistler (Edit X)," by Morelli's noise techno alias, is uncompromising even for him. Its distorted howls, faulty engine revs and sparks are ugly yet absorbing. Here, you might imagine Morelli raising a middle finger rather than a toast.
  • Tracklist
      A1 J-Zbel - Nik Molina A2 J-Zbel - Selecta (Neuneu Anthem #5) B1 Low Jack - Ice Formula Riddim B2 U-202 - Whistler (Edit X)