Pessimist - Pessimist LP
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Monolithic is something of an overused adjective in describing minimally-minded dance music, but sometimes a shoe fits so well that to not use it would be a bit of a crime. This is most certainly the case with the self-titled LP from Kristian Jabs, aka Pessimist.
Originating from the locus of Drum 'n' Bass, Jabs has expanded upwards and outwards over the course of a series of highly acclaimed and indisputably banging EPs to encompass genres spanning techno, ruff, slomo breakbeat type stuff, ambient, and - as is on show at a few points on this album - updated n mutated trip-hop. The result of this is a dance music album that is simultaneously singular in aesthetic vision but mesmerisingly diverse in his application of these principles.
It's this singular vision that allows tracks like Grit and Spirals to sit so comfortably next to each other; their approach to space and atmosphere, as well as their almost cinematic quality supersedes everything else. The icy, cold atmospherics that beget much of contemporary drum 'n' bass are most certainly here, but their impact is amplified in the the LP's longer format, allowing each track to sit perfectly on its own and also as part of a greater whole.
As expected, the rhythms Pessimist puts on show are captivating. Spanning tempos but retaining a sense of propulsive, off-beat groove across everything, they're the real star of the show. From the slow, breaks-driven funk of Glued to the hyper-speed junglist paranoia of Overlook collaboration No Matter What, there seems to be no space in which Jabs can't eke out a head-nod from the listener. Also featuring are Through The Fog and Peter Hitchens which both featured on that single earlier this year.
B2. Glued ft. Loop Faction
C1. War Cry
C2. Peter Hitchens
D1. No Matter What ft. Overlook
D2. Through The Fog
Glued feat. Loop Faction
No Matter What feat. Overlook