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.
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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
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.
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.
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…
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 n a c h i n g r e m i n i s c e n c e o f 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
a 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 t o s c a r
n a m e y r p r i c e
t a k e m e h o m e
/// o r d e r a K 7 f o r € 3 ///
w o r l d w i d e s h i p p i n g
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.
Jealov is a faceless mystery whose sonic collages combine and re-appropriate elements from Earth-rattling dubstep, bedroom soul, modern psychedelia, radio pop, and the sounds found in underground clubs worldwide. From these parts, Jealov has crafted an impressively multifaceted sound. Jealov's backstory is intentionally vague, yet the group leaves a sonic trail to fill the gaps in our cloudy understanding of it. While members claim Belgium as their homeland, 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. Despite the fact that their promotional photos show three faceless males, they have artwork and videos that feature equally mysterious women and their music is laced with delicate female vocals. A collective of travellers, Jealov's stylized promotional materials are full of multinational faces that lend an air of universality to the project. The vagueness serves the group well, complimenting a sound that is alternately dark and light, abstract and concrete, heavy and gentle. Jealov comes to Mush -- merely months after emerging in the blogosphere -- exhibiting extraordinary promise for the future.