Jlin – Akoma

Akoma is a back to basics album of sorts, and above all else it underlines Jlin's growth and heart

Album Review by Skye Butchard | 20 Mar 2024
  • Jlin – Akoma
Album title: Akoma
Artist: Jlin
Label: Planet Mu
Release date: 22 Mar

Since her last full-length solo release, 2017's Black Origami, electronic producer Jlin has deepened her approach with leftfield collaborations and impressive commissions. Her composition work on Third Coast Percussion's Perspective even earned her a Pulitzer nomination. That's scratching the surface. This new record goes back to basics – at least in theory. With no heady concept or artistic constriction, Akoma is a blank canvas. The tone is sleek, futuristic and forward-looking, while the songs are dense and tactile.

Tracks morph into multi-part beasts. Speed of Darkness goes through several transmutations before arriving at a sci-fi club. Iris comes up for air occasionally, amid the wild mix of bass and percussion. Its sudden tempo changes feel like teleporting. Throughout, Jlin's command over rhythm and texture make what could be too impenetrable a blast to hear.

She gets the chance to work with personal heroes, like Björk and Philip Glass. The latter appears on highlight The Precision of Infinity, which blends classical and contemporary with a careful balance; piano arpeggios don't usually bang this hard. Derived from the Asante of present day Ghana, 'Akoma’ means endurance, understanding and consistency. It's fitting for a record that underlines Jlin's growth and heart.

Listen to: The Precision of Infinity, Open Canvas, Challenge (To Be Continued II)