I've had lots of love affairs with lots of different albums over the years, but If I had to choose just one, I'd go for the record that continues to tickle at my subconscious: Jam City's Classical Curves. Released by Night Slugs in 2012, it toes a seamless line between mischievously playful and deadly serious. That finger click on "Strawberries" is one of only a handful of hyper-specific, spare elements that somehow rearrange themselves into this rich, full, celebratory moment. It makes me laugh with delight every time: how does he do that?
As the series of Earthly mixes on Jam City's Soundcloud page attest, however, the UK producer has been on a different beat in the last year, evolving over time toward something altogether, well, more earthy. It's a eyebrow-raising move—on his most recent Earthly III Mix, gone is the architectural approach to space and form, instead replaced with layers of dust-lined emotional tones. It took me a second but I fell hard, and over the last two weeks, it's soundtracked just about every social situation I've found myself in: after-parties, car journeys, cozy nights in. Happily, it's a direction he consolidates on the kind of post-punk-referencing "Unhappy," the first single from his forthcoming second album, which is due on Night Slugs in early 2015. Those dusty layers fold in on one another, particles crushing together with an ecstatic grimace. Some possible reasons for Jam City's titular unhappiness can be found over on his website. I'm so ready for this record.