Primavera Sound 2019. It’s well past 2 AM and the slight pulsating beats from what is the Ray-Ban Studios ooze from the underground car park from which the stage is situated.
Like a cave within a carpark, the beats draw you into their clutches.
On further inspection, behind a thick black curtain akin to the Black Lodge, you are greeted by lasers and a murky array of red and white lighting that reaches all corners in front of monolithic sound systems.
There, the likes of Demdike State, DJRUM, Roza Terenzi and Peach dispense chemically induced tech-house bangers. The space bleeding with a unique energy, transporting people into their own worlds to dance and reminisce, completely losing their minds in the process.
Just when you think that time can’t be recaptured, Jerome release their debut album, Moods. A release that truly takes us back to that beautiful time like a bottled up package delivered to your doorstep in lockdown.
Like a winter’s night enveloped in thick sheets of fog, Moods dropped at the back end of 2020 evading most. A timely Christmas present, no doubt.
Forming in London back in 2019, the Italian/Swedish/Greek duo of Annalisa Iembo and Stella Mathioudakissought created Moods predominately with samples, drum machines, pedals and eerie sequences of spoken-word (the Aphex Twin-inspired Framework).
While Andy Stott sought to take to post-punk with a sledge hammer, Jerome deconstructs it carefully, using a nail file to etch their own sculptures. And how beautiful they are. Look no further than Moods’ underpinning cut, ITSTHEWATER and Inside=Outside.
Boring into the skin like laser-beam drones, the journey starts with single, Edet. Here, those thick blankets of fog hover from the skies above and remain there for this impending journey.
Most producers wait until the back end of an album to drop their epic. Not Jerome, who deliver it as their second track – the aforementioned ITSTHEWATER. A slow burner that spits, crackles, throbs then sweats profusely, emitting a new found energy. It’s a late night concern for dance floors all across the world and in just under 15 minutes tells us a lot about the terrains that Iembo and Mathioudakissought embark on with Moods.
In saying that, there’s no need to stop the journey. It would be blasphemous to, in fact.
CCCP and KoolKool follow and are viscous slabs of rave-induced tech-house with beats so harsh that they are likely to warp the mezzanine.
IO is the come down potion one needs when listening to something this intense. Its dead-eyed beats and muffled spoken-word sequences causing a creeping late-night paranoia.
Iamyou closes Moods perfectly. With more dissonant beats and dread-scape voice echoes, it’s like free-falling into the abyss.
This is electronic music exploring the grimiest, coldest paths. It’s a thrilling juxtaposition because listening to this gives you an unhinged sense of hope, transporting you to a happy place. So buoyed that you could even find a nugget of hedonistic strength with it by your side during your darkest times.
Great beauty can be found in greater darkness and Moods is the perfect example of that. This may sound overdone, perhaps trite, even, but as Jerome, Iembo and Mathioudakissought have arguably produced the greatest electronic record you’ve never heard.
Perhaps that is now for you to decide.
Moods is out now via Maple Death Records. Purchase from Bandcamp.