Artist: Spartan Jet-Plex
Label: Grimalkin Records
Keywords: ambient folk diy experimental bedroom folk bedroom pop dark folk dream folk electronic ambient folk experiemental folk folk folktronica lo-fi rock trip-folk Richmond WITCHFORK
Spartan Jet-Plex’s latest release ‘Resurrected’ is a collection of brand new tracks and fresh takes on songs from 2016-19. It was released on October 31, a date which has complex and myriad associations with the harvest, and pagan/religious rituals across the globe. The album title is also layered in meaning, it could be rising from the dead, or a revitalising of something that has merely been dormant. Shall we open the door and start a little journey?
The first track, ‘Fear’ opens with a blistering repetitive sample that “the devil is white” and we immediately feel aprehensive. As we listen to Spartan Jet-Plex’s voice shimmering amongst the piano notes we can feel their power and that they have found a way through the fear and we can go with them. Then, after a quick breath of silence, the pace picks up and the opening sample returns and builds into layers with what could be field recordings of people screaming.
Our hearts are beating fast and then the brief interlude ‘Clown (Spell)’ begins and the voices begin to sound happier, we are lulled by a backwards hushing and a sweet sigh-chant.
‘Material’ is a new piece, and we close our eyes and melt into the glorious guitar tones and the chest-swelling emotions to be discovered in Spartan Jet-Plex’s voice. We feel revived and could drift in this song forever if we were allowed. There is a bittersweet feeling in our hearts and the tears start to build, the nostrils flare and the sinuses awaken as we try to hold it in. If you spend any amount of time listening to their releases this will become a familiar (and highly recommended!) experience. We subside and our ears are wrapped in layers of sonic emotion.
‘Meant’ spills into our ears with ethereal weightlessness, buoyed up with organ drones, but it is in no way syrupy sweet, the flavour is more like a combination of strawberries in balsamic vinegar on our tongues. The perfect melding of sound that suddenly morphs into a darker, more synthy offering – like sticky treacle on crisp green apple. We sigh as our taste buds are overpowered with so much splendour.
‘Parallel’ is the second new offering, and we are immediately drawn close to the altar as a choral incantation surrounds us – we try to stand straight but the ghostly flames are too bright and too hot, we have to avert our faces so that they do not burn. Spartan Jet-Plex’s voice scorches us with it’s strength and our whole bodies feel feverish.
We are quickly jerked into a cooler climate with the beginning of the next track, and the haunting beauty of Spartan Jet-Plex’s tones as they sing the lines: “I walk alone, while you Rest in Stone” melts our hearts. We are in a cold, wintry place where there is the aching absence of another person – until the song pauses and then is reborn in a lighter tone, as if the sun is seeping in and warming us a little. We feel as if winter has left and the Spring has been resurrected in this place.
‘Rest in Stone’ was originally released as a short intro on ‘My Time’ (January 2016) and this new version has thrived and blossomed from this solid ground.
‘Stop’ is a battle between light and dark, the past and the present. We sit on the grass and sway as we listen to the singer bare their inner thoughts to the world. We have spent plenty of time in this type of self-exploratory searching and know the place well. The trees around us are full of birds and they help us to feel brave as we stop swaying and sit still. We have run a full gambit of emotion listening to this album and are ready for some rest.
But the short ‘Witch (Spell)’ jerks us back to the reality of the world around us, our eyes are opened wide as ‘the devil is white the devil is white the devil is white’ is whispered in our ears over a backwards beat. In just 36 seconds we are right back where we started – If we listened to this album on rotation we might lose ourselves in an ouroboros of sound, unable to tell the beginning from the end.
Both ‘Stop’ and ‘Fear’ first appeared on the album ‘Godless Goddess’ (Jan 2019) and this is an apt description for the incarnation that is Spartan Jet-Plex.
All proceeds from this release fund physical releases of other artists on Grimalkin Records. You can support through buying a cassette, 10″ lathe or digital. Physical releases arrive with all sorts of goodies: stickers, pins, and a handwritten thank you note. I have received other little *special* items with the tapes I bought, but I won’t say what they were… I don’t want to ruin the surprise! Please have a listen and support if you can:
There are also 7″ lathe cuts available of the single Stop, which includes the version on this album and the version on Godless Goddess. Purchase of the 7″ lathe cut comes with download codes for Spartan Jet-Plex’s albums, Resurrected & Godless Goddess along with other goodies and can be purchased on their personal Bandcamp page here: