Jack Sparrow – Circadian review

Leeds based producer Jack Sparrow is somewhat of a newcomer to the UK dubstep scene, but he has swiftly managed to gain the respect of many of its pioneers and main players. Sparrow’s first release came on Senseless in 2007, followed up by 12”s on Earwax and Contagious before releasing the seminal “The Chase/The Fullest” on Tectonic only last year. Sparrow’s carefully honed sound really marks him out from the rest as he emerges with his stunning and evocative debut album Circadian on Pinch’s Tectonic imprint.

Named after the biological process the circadian rhythm, which occurs in approximately 24 hour cycles in all living entities, the title of the album, a little cryptic at first, actually exposes a great deal about the opus. In a way, there is no obvious beginning and end to the album; one could equally start with “Exit” (the final track) as “Loveless” (the opener) – an indicator of its fluid organic nature and cyclical structure. However, despite this element of looseness in the arrangement, there is undeniably a cohesive structure present overall.

Sparrow’s moody, nocturnal atmospherics rise and fall, joining the dots between blissed out entrée “Loveless”, tense, sub heavy venture “The Chase (VIP)” and murky jungle referencing riddim “Relapse” as we near the end of the album. In the process there are such highlights as “Dread (feat Ruckspin)”, in which a powerful, driving beat is sustained with flourishes of SFX and quirky growls. The restless pulsating explorative nature of “Salvation” is mellowed out by the cavernous but calming “Subterranean (feat. Indi Kaur)” later on in the cycle. “Dune” provides a seamless bridge between this part and the ensuing ventures towards D&B tempo and old skool jungle territory, as seen in “Relapse” and “Regress”, up next, with rattling breaks and a meditative, minimal slant, not entirely dissimilar to the Autonomic vibe. “Exit” marks the end of the cycle, but paradoxically, also the beginning. The beginning of something very special for Jack Sparrow.

Belinda Rowse