Formed in London back in 2019, Jerome, the Italian/ Swedish/ Greek duo of Annalisa Iembo and Stella Mathioudakissought made their entrance well and truly known around these parts earlier this year with Moods – the duo’s debut LP.
Majestic, jagged and urgent, Moods filled the ears with euphoria, pulsating every sense possible. Had Moods not been released at the tail end of 2020, then it would have been a worthy inclusion in our inaugural Top 50 Albums of the year.
On that front, things could well be rectified this year, as the duo release their follow-up, LP2.
While Moods was a journey bound together by samples, drum machines, pedals and a chilling sequence of spoken-word, after a short turnaround, with LP2 it’s evident that Iembo and Mathioudakissought don’t intend on making the same record twice.
LP2 sees the duo take post-punk and industrial into new places, starting with the mechanical and mono-tone 2050 – a cold slab of spoken-word goodness that sees Jerome dragging us into the vortex.
And in that vortex we are met with the glitch-laden Push Me Harder. Dripping with rave and grimy club land inspiration, alongside vocalist James Cox, Jerome produce something that could pose as the feral offspring to Underworld’s Born Slippery. It’s a curve ball that produces the desired results.
Mixing undergirded drones with abstract minimalism, Humans – Sta Oneira follows. It’s something akin to a half-forgotten dream, which is the perfect entry point into Life’s Eye – a hollow-eyed sing-speak assault filled with dread-scapes that are eventually overridden by whiplash beats.
While there is a tonal shift in LP2, Jerome still stick to their core principles with DRBS and Leela. A pair of tracks that bump and grind with the same gruelling militancy that underpinned Moods. Essentially, it’s Jerome going zonal and that continues with Gargoyle. Featuring vocalist, Owen Pratt, it provides the kind of rumbling noise-scapes we associate we Mezzanine era-Massive Attack.
Haunted and bedraggled, Jerome end LP2 by lifting us out of the vortex with Is Space Is Time. Melding gentle pianos with muffled field recordings, Is Space Is Time is something that goes beyond what the likes of Jon Hopkins has explored. It’s a surprise end to this bruising encounter, showcasing the depth and range Jerome have produced during the past 12 months.
Whilst Moods exploded with an array of murky beats and cold drones, LP2 sees Jerome casting a wider net and exploring every avenue possible in the world of experimentation. The thrilling intensity still remains, and it will be fascinating to see where Iembo and Mathioudakissought take us next.
LP2 is out tomorrow via Maple Death Records. Purchase from Bandcamp.