J-E-T-S – ZOOSPA
- Kate Walker
- 9 May 2019
High-octane collage of mutual influences and sounds from Jimmy Edgar and Travis Stewart
Jimmy Edgar and Travis Stewart (Machinedrum) first met nearly 20 years ago, brought together by a mutual love of the Warp Records and Chocolate Industries labels. After collaborating on a handful of EPs, the pair have come together once more to produce ZOOSPA (their first full-length album as J-E-T-S), a high-octane collage of their mutual influences and sounds, featuring vocal performances from Dawn Richard, Mykki Blanco, Rochelle Jordan, KingJet and Tkay Maidza.
The influence of glitch and IDM can be heard throughout ZOOSPA, which their label Innovative Leisure has described, quite accurately, as like Autechre, but 'more danceable'. Managing to sound at once both retro and ultra of-the-moment, this album proves J-E-T-S' ability to merge a spectrum of genres like a beam of light split through a prism. ZOOSPA is an aural sketchbook of synth and beat-based electronic music, styles swirling together in a synthy milky-way smudge, through which we are propelled on a spaceship (bass-ship?) of hard hitting drums and heavy funk.
There's 'Play' featuring queer rap pioneer Mykki Blanco, a chaotic blend of clipped samples and massive airhorns, and 'Potions' featuring Dawn Richard, with post-trap hip-hop beats all spliced and chopped and layered. On 'Ocean PPL', with Rochelle Jordan, J-E-T-S turn their hand to super-slick R&B to create what sounds like Ashanti and Lil' Kim having a party inside a black hole. 'Team Effort' is an absolute banger, reminiscent of the barbaric, militant beats of Fuck Buttons, and 'Lotus HD' is an array of twinkling synths and vocoder straight out of a Nintendo soundtrack.
There literally is not one dull moment on an album that's the product of two highly experienced and experimental producers rejoicing in collaboration. ZOOSPA is a kaleidoscope of different EDM sounds that are brought together expertly to form a pretty berserk, yet somehow coherent whole.
Out Fri 24 May on Innovative Leisure.