Jay Glass Dubs self-releases essential jungle inversions

Dimitris Papadatos quietly sneaks an EP of next-level beat excursions up to his Bandcamp – don’t sleep!

We’re all for artists operating outside the usual machinations of the industry here at IO, so it was a pleasant surprise to see Jay Glass Dubs popping up on the cult email thread Bokeh Leaks (ask around if you’re not familiar) to mention his low-key release of a new six-deep EP. Alas, in the Bandcamp era, it’s very easy for artists to post up a clutch of tracks with minimal fanfare only for it to get lost in the dirge. Sometimes an autonomous, immediate platform makes it a little too easy for an artist to bombard followers with reams of releases until the impact of the music gets dulled.

However, Jay Glass Dubs is always worth checking. His steady stream of albums on Bokeh Versions, Berceuse Heroique and the like have consistently stood to the side of typical genre traits, deeply cognisant of dub and soundsystem narratives while steadfastly seeking to spin something new from the threads. There’s also a pervasive sense of intention around his releases – strong sounds backed up by strong ideas, not least when he presented the Vangelis drone tribute Number One In England at Intonal Festival in Malmo earlier this year.

DJ Humble EP might not be presented with fanfare, but the release is as bold as anything you’d dream of copping on a record or elsewhere. The importance of format is already an archaic notion, but in these times of over-abundance the sounds on a digital release have to assert their presence to claim your precious attention, and that’s precisely the case here. ‘A Cut Above’ feels like an arch title for a 10-minute opus which twists up dishevelled breaks and soaring flute lines into a groove that absolutely isn’t jungle, even if it sounds like you can hear snatches of Apaches sneaking around in the melee. In fact, the flute calls to mind Amon Tobin’s non-conformist line-treading between jazz and jungle, albeit in an abstract way.

It’s important to hold up music that refuses to adhere to lumbering professional practices – it would be a shame for tracks as vibrant as these to pass under the radar (if the radar even exists any more).