Saturday, 10 July 2010

Jammer - Jahmanji

Jammer has taken up production duties for UK grime heavy hitters including Kano and Wiley in the past, but on his debut album Jahmanji he takes centre stage for the first time. Jahmanji feels like an album long in the making; there is a clear guiding vision behind every aspect of this record. The beats are intricate, multi-layered, the rhythms are off-kilter.

As you'd expect from such a well connected figure on the scene, Jammer has rounded up a select bunch of London grime artists for guest appearances including Newham Generals and Lickle J on 'Bad Mind People', and Boy Better Know on the club-smasher '10 Man Roll'.

High Points

Each track here is bursting with ideas, and a playful sense of creativity. Intro track 'The Beginning' is all lazy beats, sweeping melody, and dreamy vocals. Contrast that with '10 Man Roll' which picks up the pace with it's narrative about hitting the clubs, against a thumping house track.

'Back to the 90s' is another clubbing track, with its retro sound palette, and evocative layers of overlapping vocals, it places you right in the centre of that sweaty dance floor.

The Verdict

My feeling was that Jahmanji hits all the marks you could expect from it, without really hitting the heights that Jammer might be capable of. There's no stand out track here that sticks in the mind, or punches you in the gut. Instead the album coheres nicely as a whole, it all fits together well, like a puzzle. It is an admirable piece of work, but doesn't provoke a strong response.

Final Verdict: 64%

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