Speedy J – Ginger

Originally Released 21st June 1993. Review originally published April 1st 2007.

Jochem Paap’s contribution to Warp’s seminal Artificial Intelligence series, Ginger showcased the Dutchman’s less traditionally techno influenced and more melodic take on post-modern dance music. Already feted by sections of the music press due to the patronage of sometime Plastikman Richie Hawtin and his collaboration with his label’s hip transatlantic doppelganger label Plus 8, Paap’s first release under his ex-DJ moniker was more understated and less Detroit influenced than some of his compatriots, but for a listener with perseverance it proved a highly rewarding experience. Referencing Berlin minimalism, tribal sounds and a marginally more uptempo version of Hawtin’s alter ego, Ginger was a seamless blend of full length pieces and shorter fills exploring the post club experience, highlighting Paap’s skill in producing a body of work that is both highly evocative but genuinely listenable.

For the uninitiated, references to the 4/4 world are rare here – take for example the seven minutes plus of the title track, which consists of a number of overlapping beats with little or no apparent direction or desire to reach any kind of meeting point – a pattern expertly repeated throughout. In the hands however of the right creative driving forces the genre has an ability to defy convention and entertain whilst provoking thought, and Ginger delivers on all of these fronts. Warming to it’s task, it improves the further in you get, with Perfect Pitch adding a more crafted ambient dimension to the Bytes-era sound of The Black Dog and the triumphant electronic valedictory of Pepper leading into the staccato  funk of the sublime closer De-Orbit.

Paap would go on to explore darker textures as the decade wore on and the use of the term IDM became derisory in short order. But Ginger remains as pristine now as when it led a new generation of post-ravers into blissed out home comedowns and ecstatic washout.

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