Space Jesus’ Latest EP Hits Every Mark
Space Jesus’ ambient new EP, Zoned, Vol. 1 delivers precisely on its title. In his first release with Wakaan Records, the veteran producer shows off a range that’s darker, trippier, and, yes, spacier than the more trap-tinged cuts he’s known for. The first track, “M Night Shambhala,” eases listeners in with familiar Space Jesus sounds – deep bass that winds up, winds down, and grinds hard. But this is overlaid with ambient, psychedelic, ethereal, and even pretty effects. A subtle recurring scream – one of the more buried layers of the track – lets us in on the horror genre illusion in the title, but it finishes on an up-note, transitioning seamlessly to the next track.
The dubby “Jovian Chorus” is sure to be a favorite on the summer festival circuit and among reggae dub fans. Classic dubstep mingles with echoes that seem to summon from the future. Track two has just enough catchy, bright tones to recruit tropical house aficionados, but without selling out to the sunny side. There is still that characteristic Space Jesus low-end, with whoops that could be mistaken – ominously – for alarms, and theremin sounds that carry us out to track three.
The concluding cut, with its on-the-nose title, “Jafar’s Pipedream,” loops in a distorted voice-over signaling a “futuristic pipedream” over a tune evocative of the snake-charming soundtracks ubiquitous in Orientalist films. This gives way to a progressively darker, trancier, more zoned out sound that closes it out three minutes in. But don’t call it over at the end of the track. Instead, set this EP on repeat and settle in for what promises to set the tone for a long, loopy, trippy listen.