NPR: “Derivative” review

Published on April 29, 2022 by Tom Huizenga       |      Share this post!

“This will get your head boppin’.” – Tom Huizenga, NPR Music

The fact that the members of Third Coast Percussion are banging on various types of metal on “Derivative” makes a curious connection to its composer, the electronic music producer Jlin (Jerrilynn Patton). In 2015, when she released her debut album, Dark Energy, she was working in the steel mills near her native Gary, Ind. Jlin has come a long way since, taking her lightning quick pulsations, inspired by Chicago’s footwork music scene, worldwide and collaborating with artists such as William BasinskiHolly Herndon, and this Chicago-based percussion ensemble.

“Derivative” is part of a 30-minute suite called Perspective, and it uncorks a major, if sometimes woozy, groove, fueled by metal bowls filled with water, various gongs and a kick drum-style beat straight out of Led Zeppelin‘s “When the Levee Breaks.” Jlin created the entire suite as electronic tracks, one layer at a time, without notation. The Third Coast musicians translated her subtle, interlocking patterns into a version they could perform live. This will get your head boppin’.

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