An exhilarating sound — reminiscent of Oneohtrix Point Never’s versatility — persists throughout Jean RN‘s SKID MARKZ EP. The project is the alias of multi-instrumentalist and producer Ben Wright, who crafted the release over a few months at his Suffolk, UK home. After his previous EP, Laughing Alone, Eating Salad, Wright sought to craft music “both more experimental yet more accessible. The poppy parts are poppier, the weird parts are weirder.”

The four tracks within tout an array of personality, from the effervescent twinkling and warming blasts within “Sure” — a hot bath of a track, atmospherically — to the chaotic rock/electronic integrations of “Song For C.” “Sure” is particularly melodic and in that “poppy” spectrum, embracing a fuzzed-out rock disposition at points alongside submerged vocals; the result sounds like a lovably distorted Last Dinosaurs. Brighter synth-forward moments enamor alongside these intense bursts.

With its intense synth arps and thumping percussive climactic, the opening “30th May 2022” also proves riveting, capturing that OPN comparison especially. Gentle keys and stutter-y vocal effects intrigue, as do the impassioned burst of brightness approaching the brassy three-minute turn. This EP is full of stylish, ever-moving intrigue.

“Sure” and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of September 2023’ Spotify playlist.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup, as part of the artist’s promotional campaign.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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