Jiaolong, the much acclaimed album from Daphni aka Caribou, re-establishes the rising presence of UK Bass music within electronic music today. Dropped this week (8/10/12), the album delivers a very self-assured presentation of DJ/producer Dan Snaith’s alternative sound-world and his visions of EDM as a constantly evolving genre. Released on and titled from his own imprint JIAOLONG, the album seems to be a continuation of the producer’s own development and explorations. With tracks like Long, expansive and broad in its architecture – a decent track to open a set with (perhaps ironically tracklisted as the final track, though concludes the whole album very nicely), and others like Ye Ye (my favourite track on the album and debatably the tune of the year) – a techy deep-house roller with a menacingly suspenseful synth hook, the album shows a number of different characters and attitudes from Daphni while still maintaining a fairly complete wholeness to the album as one work.
The alias more than adequately serves its purpose, as Daphni accomplishes the more upbeat, energetic, harder side of house music that he wanted to portray. There is an impressive dynamism between the tracks on Jiaolong that manages a fine balance between electronic-experimental and deep, techy bass-driven house flavours. There is a certain relentless and quietly confident drive to this album that expresses a delicate antithesis to Caribou; you can tell that both aliases are unmistakeably equal parts of Dan Snaith. There are subtle but clear influences from other big names in the scene: flavours from the masters at Vision Quest in Ye Ye, and nice touches of Swamp81 in Jiao and Springs. Daphni offers an exciting contribution to UK Bass music and I’m sure there are many big things to come from Snaith in the future. Stream the album below: