- Geometry - ole-413 - 2000-10-17
- Spectrum - - 1999-03-03
Manchester, England’s Jega returns with a confident, striking second album that moves from fidgety electro beatitudes to moody atmospheric introspection. With increased mastery of his equipment, and perhaps less of a need to assert so many ideas at once, ‘Geometry’ is a much deeper, more thematic record than his 1998 debut Spectrum.
Jega is just one man, Dylan Nathan, an architecture-school classmate of Richard James (Aphex Twin) and Mike Paradinas (µ-ZIQ). He shares with them many of the same musical concerns, but didn’t get around to releasing his work commercially as quickly as they did. He released his first EP in 1996 on Skam (original home to Boards of Canada), and in 1998 released Spectrum on Paradinas’s Planet µ label (and, later, Matador).
Spectrum was a jarring view across the landscape of electronic music, more rollercoaster than Sunday drive, resulting in the cloying label “drill n bass.” In contrast, Geometry flows smoothly and more melodically from vista to vista, merging staccato 808 rhythmic workouts, digital swing, analog atmospherics, jittery electro-hop, and myriad other sounds into a dark and rather melancholy work.
Unlike Spectrum, Geometry will be released simultaneously worldwide, and Jega will be making numerous visits to the US for live appearances throughout the year. Dylan is also a licensed pilot, BMX fanatic, computer hacker, and a professional animator, currently working on a computer-animated video for the title track.
Following a series of releases for Manchester’s Skam imprint (original home of Boards of Canada), ‘Spectrum’ marks the debut Jega release for Mike Paradinas’ Planet µ label. Jega, aka Dylan Nathan, has hit upon a genuinely fuckup-up drum and bass/breakbeat/jungle hybrid that has blown minds eerywhere. One of 1998’s most revered electronic records is now available in North America with two bonus tracks (“Unity Gain” and “Naem”) replacing the track “DMC” that has been removed for sample reasons. “Unity Gain” is actually a remix of a 2 Lone Swordsmen track (“Black Commandments” from “A Bag Of Blue Sparks”) that ended up never getting used on a release.
Well after his triumphant... ah, hell nevermind. Yeah, Jega flew over to perform at the Winter Music Conference last month only to have his performance short circuited before it even began by a testy sound system and an even testier club manager who had yours truly thrown out of the nightclub, virtually unprovoked. Apparently, those $10 sodas didn’t keep the vibe as chilled as planned.
That’s okay, Dylan was glad to be able to hang Brendan from Ectomorph and Paul from Push Button Objects and the weather was as stunning as South Beach was repulsive, in that Sunset-Strip-on-Spring-Break kind of way. And we got our first listen to the new Jega album, "Geometry," in a boomin’ car stereo... an experience so rarely achieved living on the cheap in dreary old Manhattan. Anyhow, the new album sounds, in the immortal words of Jega, "wick-ked!"
Gerard on the 10th Anniversary shows: So yeah, I'm not prepared for the meet & greet mania of night no.1, and from the looks of things, neither is Dylan Nathan. But it takes more than a handful of technical difficulties to stop Jega, a wizard of the gadgets and knobs who suitably rocks the house, or at least the portion that bothered to show up early enough.
Two new releases from Jega to report: One a clear-vinyl split 12" with Kid Spatula (aka Mike Paradinas) on Planet µ; the other a split 7" with 808 State on the Slut Smalls singles club (Jockey Slut in-house label).
If this JSBX trouble and the recent misfourtunes of Sonic Youth weren't enough, Jega was recently forced to cancel his dates on the Flaming Lips "Music Against Brain Degeneration Revue" Tour when someone at the airline he was flying lost/stole his equipment en route from Grand Rapids to his gig at the Anchorage in NYC with Khan and DJ Ease from Nightmares on Wax. If we had the name of said carrier, we'd surely be cursing their name right now, but we don't so, "curses to you, red baron!" We are not making this up.