Jordana megapost

October 7, 2020 at 7:03 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Jordana: Full Colour

Jordana LeSesne is a legitimate pioneer of American drum’n’bass. She was highly active as 1.8.7 throughout the mid-to-late ’90s, played at countless clubs and raves, and received a huge amount of college radio airplay, as well as exposure on MTV’s AMP, which is how I discovered her music when I was in high school. If you aren’t familiar with her back story, her Wikipedia page and this recent-ish interview posted on LGBTQ site them. are essential reads. Also, her old albums and most of her 12″s on Jungle Sky are all available on Discogs for dirt cheap; I noticed I didn’t have The Cities Collection so I just bought a sealed copy for $3. She’s posted tracks on Soundcloud for the past decade, and a couple months ago she launched a Bandcamp page filled with newer work and rarely heard older material. Full Colour is an unreleased fourth album dating from around the same time as The Cities Collection, and like that album, it all has an intense, live-sounding feel, as it was all made using hardware and samplers recorded to DAT. The tracks are complex, elaborate, and HARD. Each track almost sounds like a DJ set condensed into 7 minutes; there’s just so many elements moving in and out of the mix, from jazzy guitars to twisted breaks to phone message samples to filtered vocals to rave riffs. There’s some calmer parts here and there but this is definitely not the type of drum’n’bass that would’ve wound up in car commercials or trendy cocktail bars around Y2K. This is strictly a relic of the underground scene, like her first 3 albums, and it all sounds just as vital today. Favorite tracks include “Strange Bird”, “Tidal Surge”, and “Annihilate”, a bonus track originally released under the name murder0ne on a rare 12″ in 1998. I totally would’ve lost my mind if I’d heard these back then.

Jordana: Numerology

The second release on her Bandcamp is Numerology, a collection of tracks from 2003, when she was living in England and spinning garage as Lady J. She explains that she was descending into poverty and had limited equipment to record these tracks, but there’s no sacrifice in quality. The title track is a lush roller, perhaps with a bit more space to breathe than some of her earlier work, but still swift and exciting. “Chemistry” (with vocalist Gabriella Hardy) and “Finalé” are glimpses into Jordana’s pop side, while “Without a Trace” is a turbo-charge darkside rave nightmare, and the two tracks surrounding it are breathless future-ragga blasters. “Dirty Basses (aka Boo’s Tune)” indeed has some vicious, filthy bass, hard as anything she’d done prior.

Jordana: Resistencia E.P.

Finally, Resistencia E.P. is a preview of Jordana’s upcoming album, consisting of tracks mostly written a few years ago. These are all strong, intensely detailed tracks in the newer, more hi-definition d’n’b style, filled with even sharper details and a grander, more epic feel. “Rainbows Not Enough (It All Goes Dark)” is a particular tour de force, especially during the middle where it flicks between metal guitars, softer guitars, dubstep roars, electro breaks, and then of course there’s her lyrics directed at the source of her misery. “OVNI (Ever Present)” is a 9-minute epic revisiting the UFO-related themes of her first album, When Worlds Collide, filled with levitating trance synths and loads of samples of military and airline communications. All of these releases are quality and well worth supporting. Black Trans Lives Matter.

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