Sunday 18 August 2019

Junior XL - It felt like moving forward, but you've been going round in circles

There’s a lonely, reverb-soaked knock on the second track of Junior XL’s debut solo release, Fervour Wharf, that slowly drifts in and out of time. In fact, it was only by the third or fourth listen that I realized how much this wandering snare occasionally strays from the beat grid. This meandering feel characterizes the whole of “It felt like moving forward, but you've been going round in circles,” a piece with sounds that allude to the club, but together feel more like a carefree walk home. These offbeat moments, however, don’t seem interested in mimicking a more “human” style, nor do they appear invested in some sort of defamiliarizing, experimental gesture. Rather, it simply feels like the track has a mind of its own—giving and taking away the satisfying knock, as well as the addictive melody that drives the piece forward, as it sees fit. 

Fervour Wharf as a whole is rife with sonic and rhythmic allusions to older UK styles that continue to have relevance in 2019, like garage and two-step. I’m curious, however, in thinking about “It felt like moving forward…” as a kind of bedroom track; a subdued and atmospheric piece that feels more interested in its own interiority than in moving bodies. Regardless, Fervour Wharf marks another exciting and intriguing dancefloor-adjacent release from UK-based label TT (formerly know as Tobago Tracks). 

Contributed by K. M.

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