Ending with a title like ‘Challenge (To Be Continued)’ is more than a conclusion for an album. The twelfth track rounds Gary, Ind, producer’s second full-length release, “Black Origami,” with stand-up. JLin waits for more. She’s defiant. Apparently, we are in a footwork situation. But she’s not. She’s faster in mind to predict any of her movements.
Forget that no one took footwork this far out since the late DJ Rashad. With her impressive track “Erotic Heat” on the 2011 Planet Mu compilation “Bangs and Works Vol. 2.” and the “Free Fall” 12″, the latter advancing her debut àlbum “Dark Energy,” she was giving a signature stamp to a convention of sound. She belonged to it, but she played as a sneaker of diverse, shaking and turned it upside down. She was demanding with herself. You had to be on fractals with the inspired remix she made late last year out of “Wave,” the original track from “25 25” Factory Floor’s album, a post-punk techno pulse repeated itself in high-tech to a buzz.
Back in February, she gave a clue of her new rush with “Dark Lotus EP,” a taster for the brand new and hugely anticipated long-player. Two tracks announced as a work of “switching rhythmic structure.” Indeed they are. ‘The Escape Of The Blvck Rxbbit’ (produced with Avril Stormy Unger) is a warpage of juxtaposed sound fractions and vocal samples, an unrepentant raw piece under snare drums. On the reverse was the percussive ‘Nyakinyua Rise’ with some elements of drum & bass in its tempo. Same idea, same result. A shocking challenge.
Credited with collaborations like avant-garde composer William Basinski, sound artist Holly Herndon, South-African rapper and producer Dope Saint Jude and Parisian Fawkes (Sarah Foulquiere) is expecting nothing but experimentalism for the rest ten tracks. A whole idea explored in fragments, vividly interposed in a polyrhythmic percussive based core. A soundscape of urban, nature and ancestral, made out from tech and organic tools, including the original human instrument, the voice. A chasm of sound entries coexisted as acts of present and recalled past looking back and forth for a relationship, feedback from tribal beats to hints of rave. The are 999 calls as ululations. You can travel in a sound chase from batucada to the heartbeat of the jungle, from Savannah’s elephant trumpet to whistle blows on the streets of Rio. Nothing is continuous, from a start to an end. Expect no melody.
It’s how nature works. Beyond appearance, we live in a vacuum; we don’t step solid ground, but a non-fully described amount of forces yet, brief and vanishing interchanges of energy that fulfill and create what we call reality. This unsubstantial we now represent on screens with the pulse of immediacy. Lots of inputs coming from everywhere are instant disruption’s work of art. JLin approaches to it in sound.
From “Black Origami” we can go to the Japanese art of folding paper. It’s a fitting simile for the sound she proposes. Origami also relates to DNA to create two- and three-dimensional shapes at the nanoscale. Even for her atomized work, better to talk about isotopes, those variants of a particular chemical element which differ in neutron number that can occupy the same position on the periodic table.
Not surprisingly, “Black Origami” includes some title tracks that belong to science like ‘Never Created, Never Destroyed;’ ‘Kyanite,’ a blue silicate mineral, or ‘Hatshepsut,’ name of a Pharaoh described in Egyptology. There’s a purpose, getting further with ‘Nandi’ and the enigmatic ‘1%,’ until ‘Carbon 7 (616)’ vertebrates the whole thing. It’s the hitherto undiscovered isotope of Carbon, connoted in black and preserved in secret’s opacity for speculation grass. It all comes from way back in time. French scientist Corentin Louis Kervran (1901 – 1983) proposed that nuclear transmutation occurs in living organisms. The proposal fell outside mainstream scientific discourse.
Supposedly, ‘Carbon 7 (616)’ comes from transmutation of Carbon 12 (666), of which 99% of forms are composed, including humans. The defined six protons, six neutrons, and six electrons become ‘Carbon 7 (616) with six protons, one neutron, and six electrons. This possibility came to science community worrisome observation when solar-magnetic radiations did affect radioactive decay of elements on Earth like isotope Carbon 14.
From this point on, believing, esoterism and mythology are the stepping ground to describe the unknown. A possible transmutation of Carbon 12 (666) into Carbon 7 (616) in the brain of few spiritual adepts (1%?), versed in out-of-body experiences and another supernatural phenomenon such as bilocation, would amplify thought and other hyperdimensional fields. That proposed free neutron would function as a communicative and translative mechanism between what it can be so-called matter (protons) and spirit (electrons). The quantum physics has something to say in the energetic duplicate of everything as the new paradigm to formulate the interactions that rule the Universe.
It’s written because it’s referred. By the way, if “Black Origami” is the coexistence of different rhythmic patterns it’s because JLin subsumes them as isotopes at the same time, in the same place, in one structure. It is, at least, maverick creativeness. And we need it to disrupt the conventional for a while.
JLin will performs “Black Origami” on June 16th, at Sónar by Night/ Sónar Lab stage in Barcelona. Hope Avril Unger, choreographer and performance artist from Bangalore, India, founder of independence dance collective Storm Factory, will perform together with JLin.