Send me your track


Jitterbug - Arcane Theory



I have not come across Jitterbug before. The name has me flashing on house don Steve Bug, modular video processing environments, the acid contagion of Pierre’s ‘Got the Bug’, spasmic mid-century dance crazes… before the noises even start. Then the title of the EP: garrulous, esoteric, conspiratorial. I’ve not managed to press play before I’m struck by a collision of semi-liminal references that conjure up a cloud of hopeful images; infectious, involuntary techno-kineticism, both classically scenic and irrepressibly modern, a twisted creeping plotline, an audio contamination. Or maybe it’s just me.

Nope. Not with those track titles; even less with the music itself. ‘Rise of the Machines’ thumps along with millenarian Chicago fervour. Kickdrums like a battalion of combat boots, rattling hats and woodblock, whirring Kenny Larkin portamento on the layered one-bar synth riff, that shows no sign of giving in after the track’s duration. ‘Fallout’, a refractory move into post-apocalypticism, continues the quasi-filmic narrative in a more ruminative mood. A slow respiratory motion of mellow humid tones underscores the phased cymbals and gunshot claps that just about keep you lucid.

A balm for the complacent, ‘Nomads’ snaps the attention back like a particularly sadistic chiropractor, closing the EP on an insistent acid churner. With faltering bell riff, drone clusters and jittering, neurotic percussion, it’s more machinic even than the first track. The eleven minutes are bleak, driving and dystopian, a soundtrack for the sort of barren, acid rain-scarred landscape where you’d find both Cormac McCarthy and Mad Mike scavenging for survival. The latter is clearly an abiding influence but the sonic fiction of this Arcane Theory, imagined or otherwise, becomes concrete here. It crawls under the skin, infests muscle groups with taut paranoia, mechanises desperate flesh. Like Underground Resistance at their best, you’re left with a quickened pulse and a lingering sense of uncertainty. Or maybe it’s just me.

Toby Bennett

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>
« I-Land - Cybernautics EP | Main | Andrew Weatherall - Masterpiece »