A multi-disciplinarian who seemingly doesn't require sleep, Jesse Fahnestock is back with a new single, Other Skies, a collaboration with Emilia Harmony as Electric Blue Vision.
It would be understating things slightly to say that Jesse's creative fires have been burning brightly and strongly in 2023. February saw the third full-length 10:40 album Transition Theory. In April it was Jezebell's turn, Jesse and Darren Black unleashing the brace of Trading Places EPs, swiftly followed in July by the widescreen epic Jezeblue and then August's 20-track magnum opus Jezebellearic Beats Volume 1. Remixes for Högt I Tak & Jamie Tolley, Perry Granville, Pim Secle & Orchid and Warriors Of The Dystotheque have plugged the gaps and a just over a month ago, Jesse launched a new project, Powder Wax, collaborating with S.A.A.R.A on the single Little Black Dress.
Other Skies is the second single from Jesse and Emilia, following 2021's inaugural release Electric Blue Visions. This time, the original is accompanied by a trio of remixes from Hardway Bros Meet Monkton Uptown (Sean Johnston and Duncan Gray), Tambores En Benirras (Graham Newby aka DJ Gripper) and Balearic Ultras (Mike Bradbury and Duncan Paterson).
The original version of Other Skies contains all of the elements that made Electric Blue Visions and At The Turning Of The Tide (from Transition Theory) so enjoyable, not least Emilia's breathy vocals which border on sprechsang and carry you over the gently undulating synth washes. Dr. Rob, of the excellent Ban Ban Ton Ton music site, provides a spot-on promo copy for the release and conflating two of his reference points, Other Skies is like the lovechild of Century by Instastella (especially the Adamski remix) and One Dove's White Love. It's that good.
Needless to say, the remixes are all superb. Balearic Ultras really play up the aspects of the above comparison, whilst Messrs. Johnston and Gray draw in elements of Augustus Pablo and inevitable reminisces of Star by Primal Scream. The EP was previewed with the Tambores En Benirras remix and it's a monster, built around the vocal refrain "Up down, spin around, bring it back together" and chugging along irresistibly for an all-too-short five minutes. All very different from the source version but, as a package, Other Skies is an absolute bargain at £4.00 for the lot. You can buy it now from Higher Love Recordings via Bandcamp.
It's been 18 months since I posted my first selection of Jesse's music and given the sheer volume of music that's been released since then, a return visit is well overdue.
I previously struggled to whittle the selection down, ending up with 16 tracks over an hour and half. I was determined to be more ruthless this time and provide a shorter yet still representative sample of music spanning Jesse's solo and collaborative work. The selection below is 17 tracks and just shy of an hour and three quarters, which pretty much tells you how well that went for me.
I've topped and tailed the mix with the two Electric Blue Vision releases and the segued and sequenced tracks in between feature Jesse and friends from the early releases in 2020, my slightly belated jumping on point in 2021, the birth of Jezebell and a handful of tracks from this year. As before, you can hear and feel the forward momentum and evolution of the music but also the connections. I think the opening four songs sit well together and illustrate as well as any how consistent - how consistently good - the music has been from the start without ever settling for repetition, tropes and safe options.
If this is your introduction to Jesse Fahnestock, Emilia Harmony, Darren Bell and friends then fasten your seatbelt, you've one hell of a flight ahead.
1) Other Skies (Original Version: Electric Blue Vision (2023)
2) The Knack (Jezebell's Feeling Moody Mix): 10:40 (2022)
3) Bone Cutter (Album Version): 10:40 (2021)
4) See Me Through (Sirens And Soldiers Dub): 10:40 (2020)
5) At The Turning Of The Tide: 10:40 ft. Emilia Harmony & Matt Gunn (2023)
6) Too Shy (Jezebell's 'Hush Hush' Edit): Kajagoogoo (2023)
7) Drugskill (Album Version): 10:40 (2020)
8) The First Step: 10:40 (2022)
9) Trading Places (5AM): Jezebell (2023)
10) Figure It Out (10:40's QED Edit): Royal Blood (2022)
11) Deliverance (10:40's Walk Off Dub): S.A.A.R.A (2022)
12) Picking Flowers: 10:40 (2023)
13) Loft Music (Jezebell's DC Metro Mix): Ian Vale (2022)
14) Dumbell (Original Version): Jezebell (2022)
15) Submissive Background (Jezebell Remix): Pete Bones & The Stones Of Convention (2022)
16) Coat Check: 10:40 (2022)
17) Electric Blue Visions (Original Version): Electric Blue Vision (2021)
2020: Found Time: 7
2021: All Of Us: 3
2021: Electric Blue Visions EP: 17
2022: 10:40's Advent Calendar: 4, 10
2022: Deliverance EP: 11
2022: Diavol Edits Vol. 7 EP / Jezebellearica Volume 2 EP: 6
2022: Higher Love Vol. 2: 8
2022: Hyena Hopscotch Remixes: 15
2022: Jezebellectro EP: 14
2022: Kissed Again EP: 16
2022: The Knack EP: 2
2022: Loft Music EP: 13
2023: Other Skies EP: 1
2023: Trading Places EP: 9
2023: Transition Theory: 5, 12
You can find my previous selection from May 2022 featuring Jesse and friends right here.