Planet Mu Records Ltd.
Jerrilynn Patton has been making music under the moniker Jlin since 2008 – and after a few key singles in the early 2010s she made her mark with 2015’s debut full-lengther, Dark Energy. Twisting rhythms around themselves to create a sprawling, hypnotic prototype of trance and techno splices reimagined in a nearly hip-hop framework the electronic musician and producer has worked across many genres, all but creating her own.
It’s crystalised with the release of Black Origami – an intriguing, flawless set of interpretive dance-floor patterns that writhe and twist and sparkle with suppleness as broken-beat mash-ups are reassembled to provide a new clarity.
Think of Deantoni Parks’ brutal cut-ups and take away the claustrophobic intensity but none of the integrity. Imagine Parks’ stuttering, stumbling, sample-ladden cut’n’paste approach crossed with some of the dark edge of Aphex Twin. Add something from Theo Parrish and hints of Missy Elliott’s best collaborations with Timbaland. That will give you just some idea of what this artist has created here. Instantly accessible, challenging in the very best way, pulsing and lively, these songs – or song-snippets, or beat-medleys – thrive together, they wind around each other and appear to grow from your speakers.
I’ve heard Black Origami elsewhere described as a type of sonic architecture, which again give the picture of it growing, of the sound being built, flourishing, moving, being shaped – there’s a huge element of design here, of building blocks (of sound) but the finished construction feels open to aural interpretation. Rattling timbales are behind Kyanite, dancing around a stuttered vocal clip. But for Holy Child it’s about a fog of synth, slow building toms give Calcination their framework. Jlin’s percussive instincts seem to have come from Parrish and The Omni Trio and the 90s trance and house takes on the 808 frameworks – maybe her penchant for obscure titles is a nod to Richard D. James?
But these intriguing sound collages contain multitudes. I could imagine Lisa Gerrard siren-signalling over Carbon 7 (161) or M.I.A profaning across Nandi’s slow-build of drums.
Instrumental hip-hop is one of the key building blocks here (especially on Never Created, Never Destroyed), but it’s the re-imagining of it, the subtle sculpting, that is Jlin’s real magic here. She made a masterpiece here. Something to sit and listen to as if a piece of performance-art, an aural sculpture, a piece of sound-design that has heart and edge and mystique, that somehow plays out with a different mood each and every time.