Jackson & His Computerband

Glow

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Truly a visionary in the electronic world, Parisian IDM artist Jackson Fourgeaud took eight years to follow up his 2005 Jackson & His Computerband debut, and in those years his adventurous side took over, to the point of becoming scattered. Released on Warp, 2013's Glow pools together many French electronic styles, from the house-based EDM of Justice and SebastiAn to the vintage synth pop stylings of Air, and adds several twists along the way. Each song feels unique, starting with the computerized lo-fi of "Blow," which processes vocals through a robotic voice filter, sounding as mutated and trippy as one of Ween's weirdest B-sides, before flipping into a peppy chorus that is as sugary sweet as Shibuya-Kei. Exceptional as this song is, it is just the tip of the iceberg. Lush vocal harmonies sigh "lost in gravity" over Tubeway Army synthesizers in "Orgysteria," "Blood Bust" is a brutal electronic banger that screams impending doom, and "G.I. Jane" is a fun dance-pop groove with a magnetic hook. Interestingly, no song holds a simple 4/4 beat for long. Each cut throws a curve ball, whether it's a complete change in tempo or a flagrant genre swap. As a producer, Jackson's better at making isolated tracks than a flowing full-length, but even though stranger material dominates and the occasional song jumps the shark, a mechanical pulse holds all the different styles together. Schizophrenic as Glow can feel, its severity shows that Fourgeaud is one of the most interesting, futuristic-minded artists in the game.

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