Loraine James – New Year’s Substitution 2 Review

2019 has definitely been a great year for London producer Loraine James. The release of Button Mashing EP for New York Haunted in January and of the critical-acclaimed For You And I on Hyperdub in September made her one of the most appreciated and well-known electronic artists even outside the underground scene. At the end of such a successful year James does not cease to amaze, announcing a new mixtape release soon.

So here we are with new music from the Enfield musician to start 2020 in a big way. Released as a free download, New Year’s Substitution 2 looks like a genuine gift for fans. It definitely has the DIY attitude in common with the homonymous first chapter, released at the end of 2015: the artist herself revealed that everything came to life in more or less one week. As usual James’ eclecticism moves from dubstep to jazz, IDM, grime and noise, as she blends styles and influences to create uncommon electronica. But this time things get particularly interesting since she features different artists and friends on each track. So it is not surprising that her music moves towards a more than ever wide range of directions.

“New Year New Meh”, the disillusioned opener track, welcomes the listener with a lame 2-step groove and a minimal background of fleeting sounds. In “Chapter 0 “(an intense composition featuring the Italian producer Shapednoise) a soothing Justin Timberlake vocal sample is overwhelmed by noise atmospheres with a deconstructed club music vortex appeal. “LJP1” instead, featuring London producer patten, is the most club-oriented track of the EP, supported by the upbeat 4/4 rhythm and uplifting vocals and strings.

Once again Loraine James shows her open-minded view and her talent in synthesis and production, even in an extemporary and unofficial release. An excellent omen for the decade to come.

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