Release Date: Nov 3, 2017
Record label: Jiaolong
Genre(s): Electronic, House, Techno, Left-Field House, Progressive House
Arriving a few months after Daphni's excellent Fabriclive 93, Joli Mai presents the tracks Dan Snaith made for that mix in their entirety. Even though both releases obviously have a lot in common, they often feel like opposites: Hearing these tracks as pieces of a puzzle Snaith assembled in real time made for thrilling listening on Fabriclive 93, but here, the parts are slightly more than the whole. While Joli Mai lacks some of the mix's electricity, its full-length songs highlight the sheer range of Snaith's creativity, even if it sometimes leads to a more disjointed listening experience.
It's hard to mention Dan Snaith without reference to the work of his friends and collaborators Kieran Hebden (Four Tet) and Sam Shepherd (Floating Points). Like those musicians, Snaith is a committed DJ as well as musician, and has oscillated in his relatively long career between studio deconstructions of hip hop/funk/soul/pop (as Caribou) and a serious commitment to the apparently more functionalist world of dance music (as Daphni). Yet, anyone who's followed the output of Four Tet and Floating Points will know that their supposedly club-ready singles and more contemplative albums are increasingly indistinguishable as such: it's difficult for these prodigious sampleologists, it would seem, to keep only one foot exclusively on the dancefloor.
Dan Snaith's decision to fill his recent Daphni Fabriclive mix entirely with unreleased material of his own played to his strengths. The Canadian artist has been spinning under his dance music guise since the early '10s, but he's been more renowned for the music he makes--as both Daphni and Caribou--than for his DJing. Even so, Fabriclive 93 was destined to be judged against similarly constructed mixes by Ricardo Villalobos, Shackleton and Omar-S, which are among the strongest in the series.
Until now, for Dan Snaith, an album of Daphni tracks may have come as a bit of an afterthought. Since his debut Daphni album in 2012, Snaith has continued to focus most of his energy on his main project, Caribou. He once revealed that his dancefloor-oriented Daphni alias is all about immediacy. "I could make a track, play it one weekend, have it pressed up on Monday or Tuesday, and it could be in shops three weeks later," Snaith said several years ago.