8Ball: Eleusis (Sneaker Social Club, 2021)

March 8, 2021 at 9:01 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

8Ball: Eleusis

The debut album from 8Ball (who did a mixtape of Bogdan Raczynski material two years ago) is a set of atmospheric jungle which levitates far off the ground. The beats and basslines are used sparingly, and they rarely hit hard, but the music unmistakably echoes the sonic palette of the more rinsed-out side of jungle, from the ragga samples to the reverberating synth pads. The pulsing bassline and shimmering echoes of “Kommence” are like water trickling down the side of a big fountain, rather than one that’s more ornate and splashy. Unlike certain releases by Lee Gamble or V/Vm’s Death of Rave material, this doesn’t quite feel like a half-faded memory of jungle, it feels more present and in the moment, yet it’s just suspended in certain moments. “Only Time Will Tell” has a more consistent beat ricocheting around (and a slower one shadowing it underneath), but the bassline refrains from kicking into overdrive. Other tracks like “Planetz” manage to get a lot of mileage out of just a few samples ping-ponging back and forth. “The Moons” has a choppy but more driving breakbeat, but apart from the bassline, most of the rest of the track is filled out by a rainstorm rather than melodies or other textures. “Many Shapes” is vast, open, and spacious, with momentary comet-like flashes of rave synths and Amen breaks. I feel like this is the type of release that won’t be “enough” for some listeners, especially ones expecting any sort of progression or a “drop”, but for me it’s easy to just get in the space of these tracks and not want to come down.

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