By: Chris Schwarzkopf
Listening to the new, aptly-titled PLANiTS
EP from Space Jesus
reminded me of an afternoon about three years ago when I listened to audio clips of the sounds created by gases under various degrees of pressurization in Jupiter’s atmosphere. The clips were taken from recordings sent back by the Galileo probe after it began its descent through the gas giant’s layers.
And if that was my dominant impression of PLANiTS
, then Jasha Tull is making music that is true to form for the future-bass movement. This is music taken from “out there,” as it were.
The EP features sounds that could have as their basis the gravitational, electro-magnetic, and chemical interactions that take place within our own solar system, or that have been culled from the background radiation of the universe.
A noticeable, though not strong, hip-hop presence on the EP also harkens back to Tull’s original forays into music while in his late teens. Even so, PLANiTS
differs from Tull’s earlier offerings.
Whereas his music from a year ago and even from only a few months ago still lies firmly within the scope of hip-hop and dub, each of PLANiTS
’ six tracks has minor hip-hop inflections in terms of percussive structure and pacing, or vocal elements. Although, a hip-hop influence is probably greatest on “Wikitweaking.”
Illegitimate Children’s “Augmented Reality” is given the future-bass treatment with a more complex and deep percussion pattern and a rearranging of vocal samples.
By far, my favorite track was “Book 1.” It opens with a great bit of whimsy in the form of an audio snippet of an opera divo singing and laughing wholeheartedly before his performance is taken up into a steady beat and some downright crunchy and dirty bass.
It’s always interesting to listen to artists’ material as they make the shift from one style to another. I’d call PLANiTS
a “transitional” work. Tull’s musical interests and tendencies are still present, but to a much lesser extent.
That’s not to suggest that those tendencies will eventually be done away with completely. It’s the hip-hop influence that can make Space Jesus’ future-bass truly unique. Nothing is wrong with performers trying new things, but a wise performer never turns their back on their roots. A wise performer uses every musical influence at their disposal.