Jam Baxter fans can rejoice in the knowledge that the wait for new material is finally over. It’s been two years since High Focus pushed forth Gruesome Features to the masses and the public have been, understandably, hungry ever since.
The Fresh Flesh EP provides a fleeting impression for Baxter’s latest hotly tipped third album, released later this year. A discerning gesture from the man in question, allowing supporters of his erudite writing style to be satisfied months ahead of the game. Alongside being a digestible teaser for his future work the EP brings the attention to the style of Jon Phonics – a producer whose name many are excited to see back in the limelight.
‘Intro’ yourself into the divinely maddening world of two very eclectic artists, colliding head on with one another with 51 seconds of structured weirdness. Opening with a striking collection of cannibalistic samples and a distinct set of sleazy synths – proving this is very unmistakably the art of Jam Baxter.
It only gets more and more invigorating as the eponymous title track emerges to create a wickedly macabre soundscape on to which Baxter pours his famously dark wordplay over. This enchanting way of writing is why Baxter soars miles above your usual artist. He isn’t just creating words that flimsily rhyme with each other; he instead sculpts an unmerciful narrative where the most lurid parts of his imagination come to life.
Rush eases off on the moody intensity and falls into a tinkering, swaggering beat complete with an onslaught of sinful lyricism. The slight aggressive undertone in the track conflicts particularly well with the fluttering, floaty atmosphere created by Phonics. Eating ends the EP, exercising Baxter’s never-ending ability to paint a grisly story over the sound of a rolling drum.
Four tracks deep and the EP finishes as soon as it begins. What it lacks in length it makes up for in supremely innovative production and achingly impressive writing. With standards as high as these one can only hope there won’t be another four year stopgap between the next Baxter/Phonics musical reunion.
Fresh Flesh is out now Digitally
Review by Louise Brisbane