Boomkat Product Review:
The breathtaking odyssey of ’Epitaph’ is Jay Glass Dubs’ definitive opus, a singular redefinition of dub music wielding mutable mixtures of psychedelic dub, ambient-pop and abstract sound design.
After nearly five years spent inverting dub styles on a series of acclaimed releases for Bokeh Vesions, The Tapeworm, Anòmia, Ecstatic and Berceuse Heroique, on ‘Epitaph’ JGD effectively collapses his other aliases - singer/songwriter project Ku, and freeform experimental styles as The Hydra - into a compelling, holistic sound making strong use of his own vocals amid some of the most disorientating sound designs and devilish rhythms in his swelling catalogue.
With an alchemical grasp of elemental chaos, the Athenian artist recalibrates what you know about Jay Glass Dubs, doubling down on the psychedelic intensity while also pushing a sore sense of soul to the fore. The results stagger out of time and place, bulldozing boundaries and perceptions of meter and space whilst always keeping a cool head at the centre of the madness.
The paradoxical states of stasis/motion, chaos/coolness, ancient/futuristic have always been key to JGD’s aesthetic and appeal, but here they’re pushed to dizzying degrees. He places listeners at the centre of a cosmic storm full of clashing pressure systems, pushing and pulling the senses between alien chorales and landslide dub subsidence in ‘Seikilos & to Console Him’, before tumbling wildly down the labyrinthine corridors of tail-chasing breakbeats in ‘Animal Estate’, and sucking us into Charles Hayward-like psych-jazz-rock zones on ‘The Evil Empire’.
The rest of the album only gets deeper under the skin, with plangent interludes and an oddly placed ‘intro’ sandwiching his aching, shoegaze-like beauty ‘A New Model for Emulation’, and leading to meditative militancy of ‘Laid Down’, with its piledriving percussion and arcane trance synths, before that curdled, alien croon comes back into play like the maddest Rhythm & Sound session you’ve never heard on ‘To My Benefitors’, and the reticulated dembow rhythms of ‘Reckless’ leave us reeling in a bombed out no-man’s-land where synthetic sirens call from the trenches.
released February 1, 2019
On Epitaph things are different - Jay’s voice croons crystalline over goth futurism for the first time on record (if you haven’t heard of Ku….) - he sings one of the oldest Greek songs ever written and has spent the last year doing impromptu vocal covers of Tricky tracks in Cambridge pubs. And did you notice the tracks don’t have dub in the title any more?
This his first proper proper solo LP from Jay Glass Dubs - a widescreen vision of 4AD nightmares, ballads for River Styx crossings and echoes that never end. It’s This Mortal Coil if they knew about dungeon synth and Metalheadz and still thought dub techno was boring as fuck.
Epitaph follows his 2LP retrospective of ‘the tape years’ ‘Dubs‘, on Not Waving’s Ecstatic Recordings; and his 12” mini-LP with Leslie Winer on Bokeh early in 2018. It’s his 5th and no way final release for Bokeh (do you remember BKV 002 the slowest dancehall mixtape ever made?) Realised with help of Greek vocalist and performing artist Yorgia Karidi and a special saxophone guest spot from Ben Vince (Curl, Where To Now, Hessle Audio). Bokeh graphic visionary Patrick Savile’s sensually airbrushed and peeled lemon closes this funeral casket of all the things you thought you knew about Jay Glass Dubs.
released January 25, 2019
Written, produced and mixed by Dimitris Papadatos
Vocals and performance by Jay Glass Dubs
Additional vocals on A2 A3 B2 by Yorgia Karidi
Tenor saxophone on A4 by Ben Vince
Executive producer Miles Opland
Art direction and design : Patrick Savile
Eternal love and gratefulness to Iris and Daria, my dear family of light and darkness.
More love and thanks go to : Mom, Dad, Sis, Eleni, Dimos, Miles Opland, Patrick Savile, Gizmo BH, Christos C, Tasos OMMU, Vargo Knider, Panos K, Alessio NW, Sam, Yorgia, Ben, Ruth, Bridget, Hamish, Zuri, Domenico, Asmir, Georgios, Ioanna, Zoe, Andreas, Amos, Kiran, Chris, Kelan, Georgia, Paolo, Quinn, Ion, Khmer, Boomkat, Bleep, Leslie, W, Detlef, Vladimir, Sylvia JASSS, Laurens, Michael, Speevs, Nico, Panny, MC Yallah, Arlen, Tom Krell, Joey, Philip Wyrm, Chal Ravens, Lauren Martin, Ben UFO, DFA, Domino, Ghostly, ATH crew, Bristol crew, and all those who have been on my side from day one, this one is for you.