- A vibrant house record that presents DJ Seinfeld as more confident, glowing and happy than ever before.
- When Armand Jakobsson sleepily threw "U" on SoundCloud in 2016, he didn't know he was about to pioneer a subgenre. Waking up to tens of thousands of streams the next morning, he was surprised at how the track instantly found a home in the budding lo-fi house scene. The track (and the YouTube algorithm) earned DJ Seinfeld a place in the dance music spotlight alongside artists like Ross From Friends, Mall Grab and Baltra. Jakkobson's debut album, Time Spent Away From U, took things to another level, leading to international tour dates for a musician who was literally teaching himself how to DJ at the airport between sets.
With DJ Seinfeld, Jakobsson painted himself into a fuzzy, nostalgic corner he wasn't quite sold on. (His more serious project, Rimbaudian, showed a taste for atmospheric dance music.) He started branching out from hissy house, experimenting with everything from skittering techno to radio-ready remixes. DJ Seinfeld's second album (and first for Ninja Tune), Mirrors, is a lush, uplifting record that finds Jakobsson honing his chops as a producer, while also exploring new stylistic terrain. If the rise and fall of lo-fi house left you questioning his authenticity, this record should sell you on his longevity.
Recorded in the throes of a nasty breakup, Time Spent Away From U was steeped in loneliness. But on Mirrors, Jakobsson draws inspiration from a new, healthy relationship. On the opener "She Loves Me," Stella Explorer's vocals filter in and out over gentle synths and a garage-influenced groove, while "Someday"'s Italo-tinged lead fits comfortably alongside samples that bring to mind Joy Orbison. Meanwhile, on the summery banger "U Already Know," an instrumental that plays a bit like early MGMT lays the framework for an addictive hook from singer Teira. The best cuts on Mirrors sound ready for a festival main stage, but with their positive energy and approachable arrangements, they're just as suited for a walk through a blooming garden.
Jakkobson has a real gift for sampling, and the most moving DJ Seinfeld tracks are centered around resonant vocal snippets. On "Walking With Your Smile," electric pianos and metallic FM synths shroud coy words about love in blissful melodies. "Tell Me More One Time" features bouncy organ basslines à la Robin S. Mirrors' coldest moment comes on the closer "Song For The Lonely," whose chilly, jagged pads and driving beat feel more robotic and bleary than anything else on the otherwise hopeful album. "These Things Will Come" is the record's only low point, with its disengaging middle section that feels too indebted to some of the more perfunctory portions of Time Spent Away From U.
As a whole, though, Mirrors is sunny and vibrant. Where Jakobsson's previous endeavours brought to mind the feeling of walking home after a solitary night at the club, his latest evokes a laid-back afternoon. His success has led to DJ sets everywhere from MoMA PS1 to Coachella, and on this release he's mastered the delicate art of making music that's both ambitious and approachable.
"By having a breather of sorts this past year, I could spend time consistently making music and [finding] out what I'm into, what I'm not into. Before Mirrors I'd been making music very impulsively," Jakobsson told Mixmag in a recent interview. On his latest, the palpable, sometimes uneven spontaneity that defined the first few years of DJ Seinfeld is gone. In its place is the sound of a producer who's found a confident, definitive voice.
01. She Loves Me
02. Walking With Ur Smile
03. U Already Know
04. The Right Place feat. Teira
05. Home Calling
06. These Things Will Come To Be
07. Tell Me One More Time
09. I Feel Better
10. Song For The Lonely