Music Review: Jamie Lie A Kwie - The Groove Codex LP [VL Recordings]

Today - about 10 years after since his first release - Jamie Lie A Kwie releases his debut album on the mighty Vatos Locos label. Known for his warm and charming groove tools, The Rotterdam-based DJ and producer has captured many facets on the entitled Groove Codex LP by introducing the listener to his personal vision of dub rhythms. A vision which is evident across titles across his work here; in fact, the 15-tracks album includes tunes called "Forever Dub" and "Re-Dub Overdub" that, as well as the other tracks on the LP, feature quite long analogue rides where large rolling low-grooves are boss.

 

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With Jamie being a personal favourite among tINI and Vatos Locos' head-honcho Hector, to name a few, so much that his first output for the label is from 2016, the album traces his whole artistic path, starting right with "Jungl", originally released earlier last year on the label. This track is a straight and heady minimal house track that since the very beginning makes us live the frenzy of the jungle thanks to pounding kick, tribal congas and a percussion loop that constantly gets pitched up & down, giving to the track a sense of restlessness. On the opener, Jamie features dark and mysterious atmospheres with some odd synths moving on long lines together with smooth arpeggios patterns in an effective interplay, especially when the pads arise in the break, before the drums cycle back smoothly, sharp and dusty. 

 

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Up next, "Nordzee", hits the spot by working on an interesting combination between the kick and the groove: the 4/4 beat takes a little further with a strange but effective the use of low percussions, to which is added an unconventional hi-hat right on the beat. Trippy and higher-pitched percs create a sort of hook for the drums to follow, with some mellow vibes also courtesy of lush and airy pads. Lifted two centimetres from the floor, we keep on floating on this intimate track.

 

On the entitled "Time & Again", Jamie shows us his personal taste in the choice of drum sounds, bringing to evidence his love for fat grooves, re-taking some of those 2015-ish dub forgotten sonorities. Synths are further apart, shotting some harmonics on the heavy beat. A wispy breakbeat filters through, slowly coming to the listener's attention during the break and continues for the drop, but once we are aware of it we can't get rid of this stumbling shake.

 

 

 

Track 6, "Moving Current", insists on a rusted groove where the drums are thin, with the exception of the clap which is fat and deep. On this one, Jamie gives to the drums the right dose of saturation, creating a grainy lofi feel. The snare roll picks the groove up at the end of four bars, creating an endless story combining with low reverberated pad chords that are drugging as down under smooth current. The synth line is melodic and introspective, sounding like an endless journey which takes us deep within the sea. This unfinished, infinite feeling makes the piece sounds fragile to its utmost expression.

 

Thus, "In Arts" goes back to a straightforward kick and bass relation. The kick is stingy and the bass rolls tight on it, with the drums getting more aggressive and the synths turning into hypnotic harsh-drivers, more harsh and definite. On this one, we lose that tinge of vagueness that we had so far for a more solid attitude. Reverbed drum hits create variation while the hat and clap proceed regularly and steady. The arp synth has a very deep house flavour, rubbery and everchanging. Melody is obscure and trippy, hypnotic, compelling. Just close your eyes, here's everything you need.

 

 

 

 

 

Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi