Jealov creates sonic collages that combine and re-appropriates elements from Earth-rattling dubstep, bedroom soul, modern psychedelia, radio pop, and the sounds found in underground clubs worldwide.
From these parts, it crafts an impressively multifaceted sound. The styles of the multiple divergent European scenes seep into every aspect of their productions. Jealov’s hard-hitting post-dub even implies undercover trips to California and the influence of the LA Beat scene, complimenting a sound that is alternately dark and light, abstract and concrete, heavy and gentle.
Jealov joined MushRecords -- merely months after emerging in the blogosphere -- exhibiting extraordinary promise for the future.
Translations, the new 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.
HAUS MIX-006 Jealov interview
Jealov have been kind enough to put together an amazing mixtape especially for us here at Haus. For those of you who don't know Jealov, they are a Belgian production outfit remixing and editing the likes of Jame Blake, Justin Timberlake and Beyonce in a beautifully experimental way. We talk to them about their work and about this mixtape.
How did you first become interested in remixing and producing?
Pure admiration really. We were all big music fans in the first place. We were doing all sorts of stuff, playing some instruments, DJ'ing and producing, taking pictures, putting together videos… All these things have a lot in common, and as we didn't really master one of them in particular, combining them works great for us.
e v e r y
m i s t a k e
r i p p e d
i n t o
t a p e
a c h i n g
r e m i n i s c e n c e
s h a m e
s h o u l d ' v e
d e a l t
w i t h
t h i s
l o n g
t i m e
a g o
n o w
i t ' s
s t a r t i n g
s c a r
t a k e m e h o m e
o r d e r
f o r
w o r l d w i d e
s h i p p i n g
I AM. YOU ARE. WE ARE MUSH RECORDS
HOME LIKE SHELTER. SHELTER LIKE HOME.
FRAMEWORK EP & TRANSLATIONS EP
ONE WILL ACCOMPANY THE OTHER AS A TREAT.
WITH A TAG TEAM SLOW MOTION DREAM.
THIS IS WHERE THE HORNS KICK IN.
your heart's our beat.
now let's eat.
lov )( Jea
On their original debut ten-track, twenty-eight minute EP, Framework, Belgium's Jealov presents a dense universe of murky, progressive, nighttime music that draws from hip-hop, dubstep, indie-rock, and electro-folk. Slow, drifting, and spare, the record is a dreamlike collection of fragments collected through the journeys of its secretive members. These souvenirs are made manifest in the spliced melodies, circular folk, whispered drift, and the glacial funk that is sure to become the band's calling card.
Jealov music is made of a number of counterbalancing elements -- sampled and live performances, male and female vocals, devastating beats with dubstep influenced bass and acoustic guitars with beautifully airy instrumentation. Throughout Framework, Jealov maintains an intriguing mystery and exhibits a mastery of creating and exploring musical space.
What do you use when you put a mix together?
After selecting the tracks we play them a couple of times on the decks with a time code system, trying some transitions and trying to find a good flow, a possible direction for the mixtape. When it sounds good, we take it to Ableton to get a few things straight.
Does this differ from what you use when you play live?
Currently we're DJ'ing, so it's just timecoded vinyl for now. But as we're putting more of our stuff in the sets we're planning to go more and more live. Do some live vocals on top of the samples and mess around with some controllers. Who knows we might actually become a real band with stuff like drums, guitars and vocals… The whole shebang!
What was going through you're mind when you put this mix together for us? Was there any specific theme?
Basically we just wanted to mix some songs that really made our 2010. Not the newest or hottest tracks, just some stuff we like and had on repeat for days and months. Going from LA beat to UK step, from commercial hits to underground gems. Not really a theme going on though. Just a blend of different vibes put together as a nice flow.
What is your opinion on the Music Industry in Belgium at the moment?
The R&S label is doing great, releasing Aphex Twin's first tracks back in the days and James Blake's work now… That's really something! Then there's Silverback Recordings who just released the amazing Nguzunguzu EP. Gonna be big! On the radio there's this really nice show put together by Lefto, who's into the whole Gill Peterson worldwide thing, such great music! So yeah there's definitely something brewing in this small rainy kingdom apart from the beer. Though it's still pretty much a subculture. It's more about passionate people and the love for music, than about a real industry, at least in this kind of music.
Is there anyone that you would love to remix in the future?
Don't know really. The point in remixing Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Sean Paul and others was to get something different out of tracks that are already part of everyone's pop heritage. Sounds that are stuck in your head and are part of your memories, subconsciously maybe. We didn't want to compete with them, nor were we trying to complete them. We just wanted to give them a new interpretation, translate them into something personal. When we hear something echoing in music we like, it creates a kind of melancholic feeling. Hard to describe… But we won't turn down a Kanye offer, that's for sure! And what Jamie xx was allowed to do with Gill Scott Heron's tracks is just amazing! Remixing the godfather of hip hop… What a dream!
How would you describe your sound?
I guess we're much more between 'sounds' than genre-based. There's a lot of good music around lately and everybody's a bit confused what to call it… We're a bit confused about it ourselves. As Belgium is a mix of cultures, it's hard not to get influenced by what crosses our shoreline. Of course there's London, with it's dark post dubstep scene, and the almost naive sunny sound of LA, blended with figments of the rest of the world. And thanks to the unlimited powers of the internet, it's not really a geographical thing anymore. So basically we just like travelling, and through our music we're always on the move. Jealov is a way to count the souvenirs.
What does the future hold for Jealov?
We're just working things out actually. Playing some shows, producing some music and making some videos. We made a bunch of originals and we're looking for a label to get them out there. We might release our old and new remixes as a Translations EP any minute now. But we're fiddling on new stuff too! We would love to work on a full album, make videos for it, put a live show together and who knows even tour with it in the next year. Maybe we could catch a wave somewhere, see where it takes us…
Not knowing where to start, we started out nowhere. Feeling every moment disintegrate into the next one, we couldn't ignore the limits that were facing us like thieves in the night.
So as time went by we started collecting pieces that inspired us and began hunting for more. Harvesting of ideas to fill in the gaps in our cloudy interpretations of everyday life.
Summer holidays redeemed winter hibernations and little by little we started blending different figments together, only to exhale impressions of what once was before but couldn't quite hold on to. In the realm of restriction we started producing music, taking pictures and making videos.
What lacked in classical training was compensated by perseverance. What lacked in focus was replaced by sounds and shadows that are consistently flowing through our consciousness. Jealov is a way of driving them out of our minds. We wanted to close our eyes by recording. Somewhere between here & now. Somewhere between one ear & the other.
Apart from playing music as VUURWERK at SXSW, the collective around RunTellSecrecy is working on a documentary. The first working title was ‘we shouldn’t have been here’. Beforehand we thought that the philosophy around VUURWERK –slowly building an in-depth musical story- didn’t quite match festivals like SXSW that’s looking for rapid satisfaction and that has a tightly organized way of working. ‘If you guys play any unofficial shows, you’re going to be banned from the States for the next 10 years’ said a mail from the organization beforehand. But, once we’re here, it all seems to be less bad than we thought. It’s a very organic festival; the Texans are very authentic people. We are going to focus less on the organization and more on the life here and how we are interacting with it. We went to film in peoples homes and in factories, mainly in the suburbs.
Here's your chance to listen to something a bit special; we're able to exclusively unveil a remix o Bon Iver's 'Minnesota WI' which has been presented to us courtesy of VUURWERK for what may well be their first introduction to a British audience.
You can check out the track here, be warned that there's not too much of the original left and that it's now like some kind of cyborg RnB fantasy;
Listen to VUURWERKS take on Bon Iver's "Minnesota WI". They remixed it. They bootlegged it & Marie Wynants provided them with blissfull art
The Bon Iver remix got lovin' Airplay, climbed up the hills on Hypem and got wholla Bloglove
To top it off, they've shot y'all a video. Directed by Max Colombie
“Vuurwerk is music made by a couple of kids.” At least that’s what their mysterious (borderline nonsensical) submission Email tells me. In fact, that’s pretty much all it tells me. Through a little bit of internet sleuthing, I determined that “Vuurwerk” is actually a Flemish word for “Fireworks” and that the musical project is actually by the hand of a Belgian producer. Now I’m more confused than I was before.
ME is a four song platter of electro-noise-crafting, taking liberal audio cues from all the sonic elements in the periphery, from big British electrobeat, Bristol trip-hop, chillwave and cybernetic indie popping. “Windows,” (a live track) echoes and warbles like the soul of a worn out machine, a broken window and a few forlorn ghosts hovering in its place. Guided by the metronomic beating of a mechanical heart and overdubbed atop warm keys, it’s a song tailor (machine) made for doc-montage sequences and skate vids.
“Bad Habits” recoils, aggravates and compresses in and around its own frosty exterior robo-geese bleating and interspersed with the occasional strains of Beth Gibbon sighing into an oscillating fan. Think the swelling big beats of the Chemical Brothers, subtract the pomp and swagger (but keep the experimental chutzpah).
“Naomi” whistles and whines like a transistor radio submerged in Kool-Aid, the steady dripping of an iron faucet washing away its acerbic corrosion, leaving pleasantly blurred loops in its stead and “Discussion” works itself into a Kraftwerk-on-the-dancefloor frenzy, flickering beeps and twinkling melodies a-flutter and strangely jungle-esque rhythms percolating over top.
Post-apocalyptic soundscapes and turgid sci-fi nostalgia congeals in and around a flickering amalgamation of digital mechanica and computerization, but somehow manages to retain some sense of organic warmth. Machines aren’t completely divorced from humanity…somehow merged in with it…and it’s a compelling parade to cycle through your head endlessly.
Perhaps Vuurwerk really is a bunch of kids, precariously balanced on each other’s heads and hidden in a long trenchcoat (you’ve watched cartoons haven’t you?), tinkering around on a Moog synthesizer, Mario Paint and sampling their favorite animal sounds from nature documentaries. Whatever. I’m not one to question great music.
In 2011 we started this project called VUURWERK, at the time we literally lived in the studio, recording with Jealov in Brussels. In a way VUURWERK was a relief to us, it originated out of nowhere, out of lost times on dance floors, out of bygone beats... It felt natural.
It was something we had to do, like a branch growing from a tree, making things more complex but also keeping it in balance. We were aiming for a more straightforward dance approach, something simple, only to realize our roots lie deeper in experiment than we initially believed.
To write these VUURWERK songs, we had to run from the city. The same city where we were working on the Jealov album. Brussels!! We found a shelter next to the seaside were we used to go whenever we had to finish an EP.
By the time we wanted to release our first ME EP though, one of us moved to London, the other went back to Nantes and one stayed at the seaside. Releasing this piece of music was a way of bringing us back together. Initially we wanted to release an EP every 2 months, but we soon realized it wasn't really the time that would withhold us, but rather the feeling.
When we started caving in to the feeling that our second EP, PLUS, was going to be much darker, winter was already upon us. We lost touch with our family. Our friends were moving out. And we were pretty much homeless at that time. Living and recording in a room at the back of a bar, owned by a guy we once knew. Guess the free drinks pulled us through the never-ending Belgian hibernation.
Luckily summer kicked back in. Filled with newfound hope and desire we were back on track: DJ’ing, producing, creating… Till one of us moved to Africa for 3 months. And we were forced on hold again. We realized we couldn't make it alone, that we were brothers more than anything, strong together, lost without each other… When he came back a new sidekick to the Run Tell family was born: Kwatsa. Darker, deeper, heavier than anything we’ve ever made before.
We used the little time we had left and spent it on the 3rd EP called "ONE", productions for Jealov, an official remix for Django Django and a first release with our newborn Kwatsa.
The first two VUURWERK EP's received heavy support from the kind people at Boiler Room London for both 'Me Ep' and 'Plus Ep', 14.000 views on Tammytzu's youtube channel, airplay on NTS radio Londen, Finest Ego Berlin, and lots of blog support, among which a lot of love by Sven 'error broadcast' Swift.
We decided not to release on Mush Records, our label for Jealov, even though Robert (Mush's founder) has been like a father to us. Mush is based in LA. For VUURWERK, we wanted to look for something closer home instead.
We ran into Jergan, the guy behind Dandelion Lotus Records, representing an eclectic yet weirdly coherent mix of organic sounds, contemporary electronics & alternative bedroom pop. A bridge between the dance floor & your living room. Which is right what VUURWERK turned out to be.
So this is how it all came together. The distillated drops from our EP's form VUURWERK's debut: 'ME+ONE'. It will get a vinyl release the 18th of March on Dandelion Lotus Records and worldwide distribution by Kompakt.
School is Cool asked us to remix their "Black Dog Panting". We didn't hesitate as the original is SIC. We also stole their HardDrive with rough cuts of their video in order to do a video remix as well. YOLO
After a year of extensive performing and promoting the ME + ONE LP, we ended our tour with a gig in De Kreun in Kortrijk sharing the stage with Slow Magic. Needless to say: "twas fun."
Crown on the ME + ONE tour-cake: Sliver award on the Red Bull Electropedia awards in the category "Best Breakthrough Artist 2013"
THE MAKING OF // ME+ONE 12" LIMITED EDITION$$$ //
Get one of the 7 unique copies here: