Raise your hand if Jon Convex has been behind at least one of your favorite releases over the past year. Just about everyone? Yeah, that’s what we expected. The veteran DJ/producer born Damon Kirkham has been leaving his mark on dance music for the past decade as half of the prolific duo Instra:mental, whose monumental 2011 album “Resolution653” was met with resounding critical acclaim. Kirkham stepped out on his own as Jon Convex last year with “Convexations“, on Martyn‘s impeccable 3024 imprint, and since then he’s become one of today’s preeminent sonic trailblazers for his uniquely experimental approach to acid and techno structures. After a string of releases on Naked Lunch, Nonplus, Audio Culture, and his own upstart Convex Industries, he’s back for a sophomore EP on Washington Metro-based 3024, this time around featuring London producer-turned-vocalist dBridge.
Stream: Jon Convex ft dBridge – Lied to be Loved
Kirkham’s continuing stylistic evolution is clear within the first few seconds of opening track “Lied to be Loved.” The writhing acid bassline is still there, but the urgency and locomotive energy seen on tracks like “Pop That P” and “Order Into Chaos” has been stripped away and replaced with a moody, lopsided bounce designed for the tidy steppers. As always, dBridge is in fine form here, delivering a smooth vocal performance that’s entirely deserving of the “Sexystep” genre tag in the SoundCloud player.
Stream: Jon Convex – Zero
Next up is “Zero,” a brawny but surprisingly limber production that oozes Detroit nonchalance with a distinct Berlin stomp. Detuned organ stabs dance around gingerly, careful not to be crushed by the barrel-chested house rhythm, while a muffled sub bass filters up from below through the cracks in the basement floor. Subtle flourishes, like the distorted female vocal sample, enhance the already-expansive feel of the track, making this the top pick if you’re looking for warehouse vibes.
Stream: Jon Convex ft dBridge – Stay
The EP comes to a close with the brooding melodic stylings of “Stay.” Kirkham displays some exceptional synth work on this outing, pairing grainy stabs with tight melodic arcs that expand and contract to accentuate the track’s subtle rhythmic changes. The bedroom-meets-club vibe, perfected by artists like Jacques Greene, gives off a warm, seductive glow that allows dBridge’s breathy vocals to shine. Overall, this release is quite different from the Jon Convex we’re used to, but we’re absolutely blown away by the level of comfort and ease he demonstrates on these three tracks. Don’t miss out on this one!
Jon Convex ft. dBridge EP (3024-18) is out on May 23.