#041: Evacuate with Jemapur

Back in #003 we were the first to review Jemapur’s debut album, Dok Springs. Now, two years later, Jemapur is still only 21 years old and yes, he’s put out another album - Evacuation.

Jemapur - Evacuation cover

For this second release, Jemapur has dropped from the hip-hop centric Hyde Out Productions label to work with W+K Tokyo Lab and has changed up his style to match. The sound of this album is distinct from his previous work, demonstrating more controlled compositions than the frenetic Dok Springs. However, this comes from an artist who now claims to be following in the footsteps of classicism. Jemapur has said his aim is to create the electronic music that Bach may have composed if he was still alive today.

If the aural madness doesn’t fry your brain, then the visuals will, as W+K Tokyo Labs (always a driving artistic force) commissioned four experimental videos for the album that are included on a DVD.

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The album begins with a classical piano, setting a quiet scene as the next track fades in slow drums over further mellow piano. Clarte, the third track, slowly ramps up the energy with a wailing guitar and we can begin to hear the album developing into new areas, as if constructing itself while you listen. Consistent melodic elements are set against rhythmic pulses and grainy noises.

Within the next 12 minutes we stray musically from atmospheric and dreamy to jumpy and mechanical before Documents creates a pivoting point in the middle of the album and resets the rhythm at mellow, ready to rebuild.

The track Invisible Departure is the most reminiscent of Jemapur’s previous, more hip hop beats and soon we are on old ground as we listen to Reprocessing Plant, with vocal snippets starting to cut in once more, last heard on Dok Springs.

Vexations contains deep plunging beats, almost dubstep in tone, while elements of white noise start to creep in (Re: Jemapur’s Early Works) and guitars fade into the mix. Almost sculptural, like being surrounded by helicopters, it is electronic without any loss of soul; a very well crafted emotional peak.

Aanaatt descends into a drifting soundscape, still much more mechanical in feel than say, Moons And Cattails from Dok Springs, but definitely warm. It sounds like an underwater Flying Lotus.

The Witch’s Blue Remix provides a mellow downturn to the last part of the album, descending into psychedelic visions, before a drum beat crescendos into the chaos.

The final track picks up the finale with upbeat drums fronting a robotic rhythm circulating over a beautiful piano background and we evacuate in style…

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Evacuation is available to download on iTunes, but of course you will miss out on the DVD and the lovely packaging…

Jemapur - Evacuation artwork

+ the dvd

Four videos are contained on the DVD that comes with the album; Beneath The Water Surface (available as a single on iTunes) and the album tracks Aanaatt, Maledict Car and Clarte.

Maledict Car is a beautiful series of reflections of Tokyo, directed by Kosai Sekine (also check out his other film, Right Place).

[reminiscent of Roni Size - Brown Paper Bag?]

Beneath The Water Surface, by the same director, has some lovely slow motion underwater shots: bubbles, sea creatures and drowning electronics. Plus a cool ending twist.

Jemapur - Evacuation video - Beneath The Water Surface
A still from Beneath The Water Surface

Aanaatt, directed by German film-maker Max Hattler, uses the slow pace and build of the track as context for abstracted yet absorbing stop-frame animation.

Clarte, by Genki Ito, is a visualisation of something like rainbow particles. Lovely.

All four videos showcase innovative and precise direction and reflect the nuances of Jemapur’s compositions well. Maledict Car and Clarte are available on youtube but being able to check them out full screen is great.

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As ever, Evacuation is only available in Japan however the album is available on iTunes as a download, along with the Beneath the Water Surface / Am I Scape single. Fans not wanting to miss out on the awesome DVD and packaging, however, will feel the need to import. hmv.co.jp is probably the best bet, with English and near next-day delivery direct from Tokyo(!)

Jemapur on Myspace
Jemapur’s website
W+K Tokyo Lab
W+K blog

3 Responses to “#041: Evacuate with Jemapur”

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