Album Reviews


(Ninja Tune) UK release date: 10 May 2024

The British producer delivers a DJ-friendly collection of club tracks for their Ninja Tune debut

I. JORDAN - I AM JORDAN Having dropped various collaborative tracks with Fred again.., Planningtorock and SHERELLE, remix work with Fever Ray, Romy and Eliza Roze and a slew of EPs over the past few years, I. JORDAN’s debut album is finally here courtesy of Ninja Tune. I AM JORDAN, says its creator, “is about my joy as a trans person, and trans joy generally, working with trans people, making all this fun music together,” and it contains a plethora of styles, from speed garage to more ethereal synthy numbers, and ropes in the likes of TAAHLIAH and Felix Mufti along the way.

Casino High rests on a soul loop that’s been flipped beyond recognition: fragments of chords judder arrhythmically, the filter drifts down then toggles back up like a series of right-angled triangles, the addition of 2-step beats and the odd sexual groan here and there is icing on the cake. The Woodpecker is impressive in an entirely different way, as the kind of bass hits one might hear on a gabber track are paired with a woozy, undulating synth chord – the song’s title most likely refers to the insistent percussive sound that plays semi-quavers through most of the drop.

The album is DJ-friendly, resulting in several lengthy tracks, and while this is no bad thing in itself some of these are also rather uninspired. The restless, tritone-laden bassline of Butterlick is the undeserving centre of attention for several minutes, only occasionally juxtaposed with an ominous siren effect, while opener When Lights Flash feels like it’s building, achingly slowly, to a more substantial musical moment that the listener is cheated out of.

Close To You delivers the goods with piano stabs that spiral around in reversed reverb, a memorable vocal sample and some very well-judged use of tremolo – it’s hard to define what makes this track sound like summer, but perhaps it’s the IV-I cadence that dominates the track’s mid-section. Tracks like this combine admirable attention to detail with true creative verve, qualities which this reviewer wishes were more consistent presences on I AM JORDAN.

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