|Jealov is an underground, DJing trio from Belgium. The group is made up of members Yann-Alex Janssens, Rick Roels, and Mathieu Seynaeve. Much like a previously reviewed artist Albert Swarm, Jealov prefers mystery over concrete details. Framework is their debut EP through Mush Records, and it's a combination of dubstep, hip hop, and electro-folk. The music is accentuated by scattered vocals (both male and female) and news media clips. If all of this sounds done before, then you're right, it has. However, Jealov does it incredibly well, creating as much mystery behind the music as themselves.|
Despite being from Belgium, there are no barriers for this music to be accepted, especially in the States. When vocals are featured, they're sung mostly in English. "Blakk Sun" features both male and female vocals sung over airy percussion pops. The male lead's vocals are stylistically similar to Jamie Smith from the XX. His vocals are low and breathy and play nicely against the dubstep beats and video game sound effects of Mario getting a mushroom or squashing a goomba. The utilization of vocals and news pieces is done to add background chatter to the foreboding and dark arrangements. "19-808" has a sexy jazz underbelly while clicks and whistling are heard. The next track "unable/UNABLE" starts with banjo plucking before the dubstep makes its entrance like a dark cloud passing overhead. Then the track enters the Twilight Zone with creepy bells during a man and woman singing together, I lost myself.
Getting lost Jealov's Framework is hard to do. Danger often sounds lurking behind the corner, keeping you intently listening to what might come next. "Blue Spells" and its sequel track "Part 2 (The Water) begins as something beautiful with bird chirps, sparse percussion, and female vocals You got me breathing under water / That's what I'm feeling. The grander (perhaps, bigger budgeted if this were a movie) sequel track is more hip hop oriented with male vocals in the lead and the female in the back. The track then takes a dark turn near the middle with pig noises and audio of a man and woman arguing violently until a chilling laugh breaks in.
If any of this sounds interesting to you, then you have to hear the album because I don't think I've done it the justice that it deserves. Jealov's debut EP never haves a dull moment, and they use suspense to further elevate their music. It's a definite nighttime record, and one that would make for a nice drive home if not somewhat creepy. Framework is one of the most interesting albums that I've heard out of this genre. If this EP is just the Framework, I'm excited to see what Jealov offers when their full-length is fully constructed. - Earbuddy