Jack Jetson – Sofamaniac EP

Words by Daniel Farrell

Whilst we patiently await Jack Jets second album ‘Umbrellahead’, we’ve been gifted a neat four track EP titled ‘Sofamaniac’, released via Skipclass Records. Produced entirely by sunnymac, with mixing and mastering credit going to Toshiro Steel, the EP portrays themes we’ve grown accustomed to with the abstract spitter; Indulgent drug abuse, brotherhood, transience and growth. With it being four tracks, we thought we’d dissect them one by one and give our take on Jets latest musical foray. 

‘Untitled’

Track one, ‘Untitled’, sets the tone for the following three, with sunnymac’s understated production utilising wavering, ghoulish, synth-infused vocal samples. It’s underpinned by a series of inconsistent 808’s whereby sunnymac offers a perfect pallet from which Jets paints. It’s almost pointless to attempt to cajole Jets for his lyricism, it’s consistently top tier. Bar after bar, punchline after punchline and it’s relentless. He draws attention with obscure film and underground cultural references. 

“Still absolutely mocking it – honest shit my inner monologue a comic strip”.

You could pull near enough every bar from this track and quote it, but there’s something about the playfulness of the above in particular. He’s mocking it. It isn’t hard for him to write this shit, by this point it’s second nature. You can almost visualise the synapses snapping in his brain when he’s penning it down. It’s assured, effortless and oddly relaxing and hypnotic. It’s a solid start to a solid body of work.

‘Poisonfish’

The second track, ‘Posionfish’, takes off in a similar direction to the previous track. The consistency in production is impressive and engaging, and in spite of the slightly higher tempo of drum patterns, Jets still glides atop like a knife through a fresh pack of Utterly Butterly. He encapsulates all that the underground stands for and doesn’t allow himself to get carried away with overcomplicated bars about shit nobody really cares about. It’s all a joke to him, and this essence makes Jets so engaging; You’re left craving more even when you’ve not fully digested the 101 bars he’s just offered. There’s no real theme to the track, but there rarely is with Jets. He makes so many obscure references with abrupt topical linkage, it’d be pointless trying to connect the dots. It’s easier to take the bars at face value and just soak up the brilliance. 

“Remember nights was getting lonelier, had my Patagonia just stinking like ammonia, no electric in the flat, catching pneumonia, whipping for fiends like daytona in Catalonia”.

We have to speak on sunnymac a bit more, because many will say a good portion of the track is in production and here it’s no different. For any artist to really find their voice, it requires a good working relationship with the producer, and yo, we’ve got a perfect match. Little is known about sunnymac, but if there’s one thing we’ve learnt with this EP, it’s that he’s got a delicate ear for obscure sampling and a deft ability in marrying those samples with drums. The whole EP is near enough faultless and is a testament to Newport’s prodigal, ‘productionary’ son.  

‘Cereal Milk’

The penultimate track, ‘Cereal Milk’, again continues with the enchanting beats and lyrics we’ve enjoyed for the 5 minutes prior. It’s the only track on the EP which offers what you might call a hook, but it’s not layered as such. There’s also a more noticeable (yet still very subtle) selection of ad libs, which bring a little support to each bar. 

“Cereal milk, imperial built, care with the lilt, I’m cosy like I’m wearing a quilt”.  

It’s a cop out from us, but there’s not much else to say about this one. It’s soothing, calming and another effortless selection of unwinding thoughts, placed neatly in a realm of sophisticated production. 

‘Apricot’

The EP culminates in what’s our favourite of the four, and that’s not to discredit the other three, they’re all top drawer. But yo, there’s something so alluring in the marriage of the production and lyrics which sets this one apart. A continuation of lucid production allows Jets to lay down a series of captivating 16’s. He paints a vivid picture of everything he mentions, leaving nothing behind and leaving nothing to imagination. To write this final paragraph, we had to pull the track up at least 12/13 times. It’s Jets back at his best and is sure to get any fan of his very excited for the upcoming album. He touches on a number of serious issues, such as drug abuse, but in a way that offers hope. It’s as though he’s trying to speak into existence what he wants to get from life.

“Chess games in the south of France, only tryna rest babes I got an ounce of tranq’s”.

This bar alone explains what we’re trying to get at. He’s aware of his well documented relationship with drug misuse, but clearly has hopes of a better future and desires of living life on his own terms. It’s right up there with Boomerange and Cardigan Road in lyrical terms, and it’s refreshing to see Jets back at his focussed best. Like we’ve said, we can’t wait for the Album and after listening to this, we’re sure you can’t either.

Keep an eye out for Jets in our upcoming debut print edition, which includes an in depth look at how Jack Jetson does what he does, what’s inspired him and what drives him.