Jwala New Light
Artwork by Rohan Sinha (Dolorblind) and Nikunj Patel (Moebius)

Listen: New Light compilation by Jwala

Left-field electronica collective Jwala has returned from a rather unexpected year-long hiatus with a fresh compilation and a new outlook. “New Light is a reboot for us; we’re taking a huge step and releasing music on all streaming platforms for the first time.”

While it may leave listeners wanting more, their newest 4-track release delights for the variability and tighter sound of what’s on offer. It’s also clear that the focus is on them this time. This collection does an about-face with three tracks by Jwala members, while still managing to rope in a few musical guests on the last track.

CowBoy & Sailor Man starts off the collection with the transcendent ‘Note to Self (Yesterday)’, which the producer came up within a single day. A shimmering intro ascends into washes of swirling electronics and rumbling bass. The opener’s soaring progression is layered underneath melancholic pitch-shifted, layered vocals. It’s a richly produced number and an exciting new sound from him that channels some of M83’s early stuff. 

Moebius then switches up the tempo with the propulsive ‘Shtick’. It’s a pulsating, club-friendly banger whose potential for the dance-floor is compounded by the surprise sax that slithers in out of the invigorating percussion. 

Dolorblind offers more of a breather with ‘Gush’, a heady, ambient track layered atop a bed of lush melodic synths. At around the halfway mark, the sitar is introduced and takes the song stirring to new heights. A five-minute score in itself, the track closes out with an eerie, cacophonous outro.

The final track by Hedrun features 4lienetic, known for his ambient and future garage cuts, and returning guest Cash, who also had a spot on the collective’s third compilation. The track is a textural amalgamation of three artists with distinct styles. Halfway into the song, the percussion recedes, giving way to a gentle piano melody backed by a haunting choir.

The group states that the new Jwala is about balance and quality. Maybe the same notion of quality control explains the unusually shorter tracklist. New Light could, in fact, just be a sampler of what else they have cooking up. While there are indeed some twists here, the producers ultimately play to their strengths. In the end, it’s a promising, if slightly cautious, reminder of what the collective is capable of. 

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