Label: Blackaxon Records
Release Date: 15/12/2014
Better late than never so the idiom goes. Jay Clarke’s debut on his own Blackaxon label at the end of 2014 saw the London based producer step up in assured fashion to release his own material. Productions aimed firmly at the dancefloor with enough style and melodic nous to set it apart from your typical white label debut. Having had support from some of the most noted DJs in the world for his productions (early fans including Ben Klock), the ‘First Flight’ EP sees Clarke finally stepping out with some strong, faultless music of his own.
‘The First Glimpse of Light’ starts the EP off with smouldering rhythms, weaving expert grooves and muffled textures into something truly danceable. This is subtle and engaging dancefloor music, Clarke’s ability to build tension and string loops into tangible, lively rhythms demonstrates his skill as a producer and perhaps belies his anorak-like knowledge of the genre. ‘The Black Lodge’ clatters along in a similarly reverb soaked fashion, although the intensity here is paired down to give more space for the whirling atmospheres and jackhammer percussion peeking through the mix.
The stand out track is undoubtedly ‘Vanishing Act’ however - it is quite frankly a dancefloor monster. Its unsettling melody drives deep kick drums along a compelling and twisted path. Just as you get used to the jagged melody Clarke switches up the progression leaving small moments of dissonance as the chords change, it’s an incredibly successful technique that leaves the listener in twists and knots.
Jay Clarke has been a pretty well-kept secret until now; perhaps only familiar to those in the know across the London Techno circuit. Having been a resident for the popular VOID party at Brick lane’s Café 1001, it’s nice to see Clarke’s enthralling take on dancefloor techno finally getting a proper home. The launch of Blackaxon sees him take complete control over his own output, and with a string of releases in the pipeline for 2015 we should be seeing a lot more of Jay Clarke in the coming months.