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Jerrilyne Patton’s position as an outlier to Chicago’s blossoming footwork movement is underlined through geography as much as it is musically. Hailing from the unglamorous Gary, Indiana, Jlin’s anomaly status has allowed her to occupy a distinctive role on the peripheries of a scene that’s known for hyper-160BPM percussive bombardments, exhilarating vocal samples and the manic, foot-led dance moves that accompany it. Her debut, Dark Energy, was a stunning tour-de-force of whirlwind rhythmic experimentation which truly redefined an already thrilling genre.

For her follow-up, Black Origami, Jlin draws on a sound palette that seems oddly indebted to Age of Empires as well as B-movie cinema. Whilst there are plenty of enthralling moments, this sophomore effort fails to live up to the exceptional vision of her debut. At worst it is incoherent and even naively orientalist in its approach to sampling, but at its best it further carves out a path which is bold and uniquely gratifying.

The latter half of the album features jaunts into other realms of dance, '1%' seeing a collaboration with Holly Herndon go unashamedly EDM, and 'Never Created, Never Destroyed' bounding into trap territory, with trademark vocals from Dope Saint Jude.

The most exciting moment comes from the final track, however - a ball-bearing-hailing-on-corrugated-iron-roof assault of marching band snares, whistles and tablas. If the message of its title, 'Challenge (To Be Continued)', is to be believed, then Jlin shows no intention of slowing down.

Alex Keegan

by Now Then Sheffield
Filed under: Jlin