We made it to Part 3. Congrats team.
Will there be a Part 4?1
Jlin Black Origami
When Jerrilynn Patton isn’t changing the face of footwork and challenging any preconceived notions we may have had on dance music, she’s a welder in Gary, Indiana. Even without any knowledge on her backstory, there’s still a sense of strong precision and a do-it-yourself approach to her music. I don’t mean do-it-yourself in the “DIY” indie darling home-recorded kind of way. I mean it in break out the tool box and fix the plumbing your own damn self kind of way. Jlin’s drum and bass centric electronic is of an observant, mathematical mind that’s interested in how things work. Black Origami, the producer’s second full-length, is an airtight machine constructed from an endless array of moving parts with not one piece out of place.
Fever Ray Plunge
In 2009, Karin Dreijer released one of my all-time favorite albums, her self-titled debut under the Fever Ray moniker. That album is a spectacular exercise in atmosphere, a soundtrack for driving through the thickest winter fog or the blackest summer night. The icy synths, sparse percussion, and Dreijer’s warped vocals make for an intoxicating sonic cocktail.
It would be a mistake to try and imitate perfection, so it’s kind of a relief that Plunge blows up the atmosphere of Fever Ray for something more freewheeling and provocative. Right out of the gates, Dreijer sounds unhinged, exploring some furious lust on “Wanna Sip” over a barrage of bottle rockets. “I show a funny trick, a head shake / I wanna peek, I wanna sip” she screams, sounding all-at-once human, animal, and monster.
Plunge goes back-and-forth between addressing sexual desire, political shitshows, and sometimes both simultaneously (“this country makes it hard to fuck” is perhaps her most memorable lyric ever, and as true Knife-heads know, there’s a lot of competition for that title). Her voice is less manufactured, often outright freakish. But there’s a playfulness that we haven’t seen Karin indulge since Silent Shout — just check out the carnival of crazy on the video for “To The Moon And Back” (arguably 2017’s greatest love song).
Amidst the chaos, there are still moments of sheer beauty — there’s the harrowing strings on “Red Trails,” the happy-go-lucky excitement of “To The Moon,” and the warmth of “Mustn’t Hurry.” But after a year where sex spent a lot of time on our news feeds for the worst possible reasons, Plunge should be remembered for its unapologetic, thrilling take on sexuality and desire. We can’t let the Harvey Weinsteins of the world ruin sex for all of us. As Dreijer reminds us, “Every time we fuck, we win.”