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Jape - Ritual

Jape, Ritual

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

DUBLIN native Jape – aka Richie Egan – has been talked about in haloed terms since breaking through last year with his rave-folk anthem Floating – a song that was covered live by The Raconteurs and which bore favourable comparison to contemporaries such as Hot Chip.

His debut album, Ritual, looks certain to further his reputation as a fiercely modernist songwriter.

According to his PR, Jape represents the next stop on the road travelled by Thin Lizzy, The Pogues, Van Morrison – an Irish sensibility fused with alien cultures.

In this case, globalised blogged-about electronic music as well as rock n roll (Richie spent his youth in the hardcore punk scene making Fugazi-type underground stuff).

You’ll understand what this means by listening to the opening moments of Christopher And Anthony, with its looped electronics and bouncy bassline.

But the album doesn’t really get started until the feisty I Was A Man confidently wraps some engaging electronic loops around its darkly comic tale of a loveable loser. It has an insistent quality that demands repeat listens.

Replays hints at New Order/Blue Monday territory with its throbbing bassline – albeit with a much more haunted vocal style and some strong layering, while Graveyard drops a fine back beat over some electronic waves to signal the album at its most catchy and welcoming.

Phil Lynott is a kooky ode to Thin Lizzy that’s less successful and infinitely more DIY in composition, but Streetwise restores the album’s quality, combining the cool electronica of Hot Chip with a kooky lyricism more akin to The Presidents Of The United States.

Elsewhere, Strike Me Down feels like a definite march, or stomp, towards a hardcore dancefloor, while Nothing Lasts Forever drops samples, synths and falsetto vocals to mostly winning effect for a final track that ensures the album finishes with a flourish.

Ritual is therefore a frequently engaging listen – but one that continually promises more than it delivers.

Download picks: Nothing Lasts Forever, Streetwise, Graveyard, I Was A Man

Track listing:

  1. Christopher And Anthony
  2. I Was A Man
  3. Replays
  4. Graveyard
  5. Phil Lynott
  6. Streetwise
  7. At The Heart Of All This Strangeness
  8. Apple In The Orchard
  9. Strike Me Down
  10. Nothing Lasts Forever

  1. Ritual is Jape’s 3rd album.
    1st was Cosmosphere, 2nd The Monkies in the Zoo have More Fun Than Me.
    Also Jape is Grape EP was released last year.
    Brilliant album:-)

    colm    Jun 8    #