|MH-054 Jealov - Translations
Translations, the bootleg EP from Belgium’s mysterious Jealov, uses a nearly-unrecognizable palette of pieces from chart-toppers Sean Paul, Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Jay Z, and Aaliyah to create a layered landscape of skewed, corrupted crunk. The life of pop songs is often tragic -- forgettable today, and forgotten tomorrow. Translations, however, charts the shadows cast by Top 40. “Sean’s Shelter” is a surreal, driving slow-dub version of Sean Paul’s “Temperature“ while “B&C Gir1” introduces Beyonce to the bastard son of Prefuse 73, and “Just in Lov” twists Justin Timberlake's voice beyond recognition. Jealov drowns Rihanna under “Re_N_A SOS” elevates Jay-Z’s brutal “99 Problems” to surprisingly uplifting territory on “JZ-9999” and resurrects Aaliyah on "All I Try" -- all too dizzying effect. Pensive and twisted in execution, Translations is what these fleeting jams sound like as they ricochet eternally in the collective subconscious.
|Belgium’s outfit of music/photo/video-makers – is quite fitting with their dizzy, moody, and twisted sound - The Big Up / The drywall start to rot, lights flicker, shadows move, and people look strange. This isn't the Billboard Hot 100 - Tiny Mixed Tapes / IDareYouToTryNotToLikeIt. - Goodbye Galaxy|
|Listening to this EP, I didn’t know a lot about it, and I have a list of what I didn’t know:|
1) I was not aware Jealov was from Belgium. Hell, I didn’t know who he was.
2) I was not aware this EP was being offered to everyone for free.
3) I was not aware this was called a “bootleg” EP, and I’ll explain the possibility as to why
So now we’re here with Jealov, who is called “mysterious” in his bio. I like that, I like the unknown trying to be known from creating something that makes him want to be such. In this case, his EP Translations (Mush) also takes very well known sources and uses them to add to his vibrant sonic pictures. However:
4) I was not aware that the theme of this EP had to do with taking the known and turning it into the unknown to make it known.
In other words, the theme of this EP is specifically to take elements of music by popular artists and construct it in a way that it becomes partly about those original artists, but very much focuses on how Jealov did it.
The song titles give indications as to who he’s “playing” with:
a) “Sean’s Shelter” (Sean Paul)
b) “B&CGir1″ (Beyonce)
c) “Just In Lov” (Justin Timberlake)
d) “Re: N/A SOS” (Rihanna)
e) “JZ-9999″ (Jay-Z)
f) “All I Try” (Aaliyah)
It seems like a simple approach, but the way Jealov does it is very clever. It’s not just a simple remix or mash-up project, but rather each sample source becomes one of the instruments in Jealov’s band, and hearing them individually may make the listener go “oh yeah, I know what song that is.” As a whole, you realize that bootleg thievery is a concept of sorts, or at least a sound concept, and one tends to want to enjoy it as something more. Then again, is it a “bootleg” EP as a deliberate way of knowing that sighting these samples will single him out, may cause a bit of discussion and make people go “wait, that’s that song I really like”, and that might make people go “wait, can the artists and labels sue Jealov for this?” Most likely no, since it is a “bootleg” but in truth it’s a free EP, so Jealov is (to my knowledge) not making any money from this. But, is he using it as a means to get people to hear his music and production, in the hopes of getting some work? Aaaaah!
While I’m not a Rihanna fan by any means, the best track on here is “”Re: N/A SOS”. The song seems to take on the techniques of John Oswald‘s plunderphonics and mixes it up with the silly-yet-cool feeling of Mochipet and turns it into another example of how to utilize “found sounds” in the best way possible. You can indeed dance, get funky, or have sex to this song, but by twisting Rihanna’s original, it also seems to be a new translation of what the public is thinking about with Rihanna.
Translations is a very impressive EP, not sure if he will continue doing similar projects but I’m on the bus to hear what he’ll come up with next. - This Is Books Music