Jerome Sydenham / ‘Trombipolution EP’
Digital / Vinyl
Drumcode / Released January 21st 2011
They say never judge a book by its cover, or a person based on where they’re from. In Jerome Sydenham’s case, you have the perfect of example of why that’s good advice.
He was born in Nigeria. Then educated in the UK. After which he moved stateside, and did some growing up in New York, before making the decision to jump back across the Atlantic to Europe, where he now resides in Berlin. So that his sound offers few similarities to these locations is surprising.
But scratching beneath the surface does uncover some geographical signatures ingrained on the black plastic. The title track harks back to a Germanic techno scene of yesterday, as we’re ground into the dancefloor with the aid of an oppressive bassline, while our only light comes from the eerie white noises that scream England’s progressive house scene as was. On the whole though, it’s a fittingly Swedish sounding onslaught from start to finish.
A generous five outings are offered in this package, so those looking for value for money should take note. Though that’s probably not the reason anyone’s going to opt in on this one. Highlights include Push To Enter‘s stripped, mechanical groove, complete with whispered vocals and dual layered drum arrangement, so just when you’re sure it’s safe to turn the bass up, think again. Elsewhere fans of distorted dub would do well to consider In The Zone, a none stop builder-to-nowhere, whereas we’d say Bite is the abiding memory, throwing up a thoroughly Detroit-influenced jackathon that, alongside the warbling low end of Amp, rounds off a second successful January release for the label.