Jay Glass Dubs: Plegnic LP
Jay Glass Dubs sublimates Athenian distress and ennui into plasmic dub ether on Plegnic, his lushly evolved first collection of new material for Ecstatic, following from on from Dubs. Where Dubs was a set of his earliest, hard-to-find tape releases, deconstructing and rebuilding Jamaican dub with Musique Concrete production methods and a lingering air of inspiration from classic 4AD, new age and laïko, or Greek popular music, on Plegnic Jay Glass Dubs fascinatingly evolves his sound with richer melodic and harmonic arrangements in a concerted effort to expand the nostalgic, esoteric and dance floor dimensions of his unique sound world. Plegnic is an extinct word meaning "to strike like a hammer", and offers a palpable sense of nostalgia. In this archaic context, JGD uses vintage machines and obsolete samples in conjunction with vocals from Yorgia Karydi -- former beau of his childhood neighbor, and Andreas Kassapis, one of his oldest friends, who provides the cover art -- to conjure a mutated take on classic and well-trodden styles, metaphorically and anachronistically renewing their purpose while connoting his newfound dance floor drive in the process. Recording took place at his mother's house in the Athens suburbs, with Fugazi's Steady Diet Of Nothing on repeat. It was here that he dug out an old Juno, a Yamaha RX5 drum computer, and some "crappier equipment" that provides the structural scaffold to his array of nostalgic, melancholic Laïka samples, which could be considered the diffused soul of this superb five part-crop. On the A-side he sets out to spook with the desiccated, stepper's motion of "Temple Dub" featuring heavily processed vocals by Karidi, but heady nostalgia takes over with a sublime tactility in the vaulted chorales and reverb tails of "Umbro Dub", and again in the aching sehnsucht of "Mouthless Dub", where traces of Laïka's bouzouki melodies glimmer. However, the B-side is far more upfront and up-for-it, putting weight behind the cranky skank of "Dry Dub" with its hexagonal drums and acidic bass squirm, then in the super-squashed swagger of "Fearless Dub", the near-ten-minute pinnacle of his dance floor output to date. Ultimately, Jay Glass Dubs's music is riddled with the kind of nostalgia that can make an unfamiliar piece of music feel like an intense déjà entendu, like you've heard it before in a dream or some altered state; that's a rare and precious thing. Limited to 500.