The Quietus on Compact Break

Tristan Bath included Compact Break in his top tapes of January.

“After a quiet slew of tape and digital releases via their own murky Jannet Power INC imprint, strange London-based producer j.b. glazer. emerges with their first fully realised album, Compact Break. Similar to fellow Londoner Klein, j.b. glazer inhabits fertile new ground between the outer reaches of ambient composition and experimental pop. Compact Break segues between sections like a muddy mixtape; it’s a post-digital suite of patchworked ideas. The instrumental miniatures – such as luscious highlights ‘Moon Face’ and ‘A iii’, both full of software keyboard notes bobbing up against each other like drunks in a wave pool – come from a very familiar urban midnight world. It’s the place where vaporwave jams ooze from car radios, street lamps flicker above shady characters, and couples stumble home through the dark arm-in-arm. Elsewhere, proceedings get all the more abstract and alien. Such as on ‘Meritocracy’, where radio snippets quietly overlap in the hintergrund as ultra-minimal beats slot into a rhythm somewhere between the gentle buzzing of power cables and a Moritz Von Oswald track. The menacing ‘Gardener’ weaves in leering processed vocals, formulating a vision of trip-hop as imagined by Wolf Eyes. To call it a grab bag of styles wouldn’t do this tape justice though. The mood coalesces far too cohesively.”