One to watch: Jitwam | dance music

BIndian-born, Australian-raised and currently based between New York and London, producer and singer Jitwam makes music that reflects a life in motion. Jazz-inspired grooves combine with nodding hip-hop beats, R&B vocals, and snippets of chattering passers-by to create mood music between the spaces.

On his debut EP, TJD001, released in 2013, Jitwam’s sharp croon and ambient backing positioned it alongside the atmospheric soul of British singer Jai Paul. But that was 2017’s WhereYouGonnaGo? which first saw Jitwam formulate his own jazz dance sound, setting his falsetto over a chaotic house beat and an improvised piano line. His albums, 2017 Eponym and 2019 Honeycomb, plunged further into that dancefloor kinetics, with tracks such as Temptations and Opendoors adding breezy ’70s funk reminiscent of the Isley Brothers.

“When I look at my music, I see a lot of transience in it,” Jitwam told Bandcamp. “There’s a word for it: hypnagogic, it’s a state between dreaming and being awake.” On his latest album, Third, Jitwam finally made its breakthrough into the mainstream, releasing for the first time on major independent label, Warp. Here, he fully inhabits the vaporousness of this intermediate state, from the sensual introspection of Equanimity to the spaced-out guitar jam of Maryjane. Third is supposedly not only because it is a third album, but because it reflects the experiences of a child from a third culture; the disparate sounds and influences absorbed from the places where Jitwam lived and all gave unity through his own voice.

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