Listencorp review image of summer electrohits zero by van jack

Summer Electrohits Zero

Van Jack


Liam Murphy

May 13, 2019

Tracks in this feature

Tracks in this release

Van Jack is one of those producers who fearlessly pushes, pulls and stretches the sounds he uses. Vigorously exploring their thresholds, as well as the listeners, pushing us to dissect and understand the sounds as he does.

This style of exploratory production is epitomised by the very first song take your time. A heavy bass drum smashes down into wispy clouds of white noise as a distorted bassline marches aggressively in between. As the intense sample finishes the end of a 5-bar loop, the bass judders like a podracer, and one of two things happen: either we are forced to speed up with the sample, hurrying along with it at a sometimes comical pace in contrast to the last loop, or it slows down and Van Jack forces us to follow the stranger, disjointed sense of rhythm. It’s is these moments that are key, the moments that challenge our sense of the normal, or traditional.

onetwothreefour appears from a ghostly, muffled space, spitting out reversed cymbals and possessed voices. The track swiftly finds its equilibrium, falling into a steady beat. Again, Van Jack makes discomforting the listeners his primary objective, as we are treated to an array of iterations of the same sample; some drooping and painfully lethargic, others energetic and brief. By the end, the sounds ache from the constant manipulation and fall into a wall of pulsating, low synths. The rhythm fringed with hi-hats begins again, and we get to understand the sample in a deeply personal way, we are able to look into its separate parts and from that truly understand the sum of them when put together.

close to the sun is more melodic then the preceding two tracks. An Afrobeat melody sweeps through towards the listener, the deep baritone voice of the vocalist a lone human presence in this chasm of twisted samples. Van Jack shares his fascination with the sample itself, we follow him blindly, wherever he goes.

money stakes it’s claim with a menacing synth melody, the clapped beat repeating until it falls into a standard drum line. The supercharged bassline stabs through a restrictive EQ, the sense of conflict is apparent and purposeful. Each track is a case study, a sample trying to escape the endless, warped Groundhog Day effect Van Jack’s premise has on it.

can you feel me now struggles through, the vocalists winding voice hemmed in by the throbbing instrumentation. The infectious guitar motif that plays is reminiscent of now aging indie bands The Strokes or Interpol. The tone of it is deeply mellow with tinges of sharpness, made dulcet by the ever-effected nature of the soundscape.

Slowly stumbling, widely-set synth bass once again steps in time with a steady, simplistic drum line. how do you describe the feeling sets a direct and confident course through the duration. The dizzying loop revolves taking the listener on a waltz, spinning constantly in time with the beat. The sampled beats on Summer Electrohits Zero often lose their sturdiness in the dying moments of the track and fall into a much less inviting glitch. Further testament to the test of stamina this album is.

summer love sends forth a glittering but fuzzy pad. This pad then begins to recoil repeatedly and we are thrown into another cell of steady drumbeats and ghoulish, intimidating vocals. There is something quite eerie about the constant revolution of samples, our senses are constantly fed through the same ringer, we come out the other side all but attacked by the consistent berating.

summer haze’s creeping synth melody and syncopated bassline sounds like a Daft Punk song infected with some giger-esque nanovirus. It resists supplying a laidback listening experience, forcing us through the same loop again and again like some computer program designed to torture on an infinite loop.

don’t wanna say goodbye is, again one of the more melodious on the album. It teeters on the precipice with unassuming hi-hats and a singular synthline trickling in. Suddenly us and the melody line inch ever so slightly into a chasm of sound. There a deep and detached voice croons over sweeping percussion.

Summer Electrohits Zero plays out less like a cogent album and more a testament to the nature of sampling itself. An ode to the fully produced snippet ripped from its homely context, injected with whatever is deemed appropriate, and fitted with diodes in order for us to study it. Van Jack achieves an array of feelings within the runtime. Producing both engaging tracks and thought-provoking, repetitive experiences alike.

Listen here: