Album review: Jega – ‘Variance’

Leak-phobic drum'n'basser rewrites his best album of the last six years....

Like you, when the music industry starts bleating about illegal downloading, NME zones out. But Jega’s story should bring you up short. A version of ‘Variance’ leaked in 2003 and it’s taken LA-based Mancunian Dylan Nathan until now to take a deep breath, count to 10 and re-write it. You bastards. That he even bothered is our collective good fortune, as ‘Variance’ is fascinating. Harking from a Skam/drill’n’bass background, Nathan deals in intense ambient electronica that, instead of referencing Eno and hippies, is clearly rooted in soul, jungle and hip-hop. At first, those influences echo delicately through a sun-dappled morning mist. Later, splintered breakbeats roar. Either way, it’s beautiful.

[b]Tony Naylor[/b]

Click here to get your copy of Jega’s ‘Variance’ from the Rough Trade shop.