[7 March 2011]
Leeds producer Jack Sparrow is the full embodiment of modern dance’s tendency to craft music that satisfies both headphones and amplifiers, armchairs and strobes. His production is flawless and his dedication is unquestionable. The problem areas of his debut, Circadian, relate more to mixology and flow rather than any song’s core construction. There’s a few spots in the album’s middle that are overly damp and get a little too close to dubstep proper, thus losing the intrigue that captivates in the tracks that skirt the fringes. Even on those cuts though, there’s a sensational sense of atmosphere that recalls a gifted osmosis of Traversable Wormhole’s spacey aerations and Vex’d’s burnt industrial edifices.
Best of the bunch are the bookends. “Loveless” starts the album off with an intimate, immaculate construction in the housier vein of dubstep practiced by the likes of Martyn and A Made Up Sound. The final two full length tracks are tellingly titled “Relapse” and “Regress”, which may be a way of conveying that they’re full-on junglist concoctions with an ambient tilt, recalling the best of Nonplus’s output. Even many of the so-called dubstep tracks have surprisingly fast tempos, pushing 150 bpm at times. Also sensational is “Subterranean”, which is like a fever dream with passing motorists panning across the speakers and a moaning spectral Indi Kaur howling in the wind. Less drowned and lost than Burial’s urban landscape, Jack Sparrow’s subterranean city is alive, and its ghosts party alongside the living in anticipation of the end times.