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JLEON unleashes his dynamic debut EP Nerve Damage on Sleeveless Records [Album Review]

 Imagine that you just dropped acid in the middle of a rainforest. What sounds do you hear? Do you hear the incessant chirping of birds and occasional howls from a monkey, or do you hear something else? Cupping your hand around your ear, you strain to hear a sound so familiar, yet you never expected to hear in the middle of the jungle. And yet it’s here: intoxicating bass hits combined with sonic ascensions into outer space and steel pan melodies. This is “Acid Drop”, the first track of JLEON’s debut EP Nerve Damage.

Last week, Sleeveless Records released a single from the Costa Rican artist titled “Pressure”, a grinding track filled with searing, fiery bass and the industrial noises of what sounds like a badass street performer hitting trash can lids. It’s got enough grit to alert all the nerves in your body and the right flow to make every sound extremely prominent and important. No stranger to talent, Sleeveless Records signed on JLEON and featured him on their Sleeveless Warriors: West Coast Bass Vol.2. After doing some damage at festivals such as Bamboo Bass and Emissions, JLEON is here with an EP to bring you all the filthy bass beats you need.

Following the insane psychedelic trip of “Acid Drop”, JLEON gives his listeners barely a moment’s rest before unleashing a torrent of grimy half-time bass on “I Just Told You It’s Enough”. It’s a mind-bending journey of dark, twisting tunnels and bass drops that plunge into the depths of sound. The strange, mysterious melodies seem to teeter on the edge of cragged cliffs where whirlpools wait to take away all your perceptions of space and time.JLEON lets us get tossed around in the watery depths, then brings us up to the surface just in time to hear a glorious noise: sun-drenched hip hop grooves that open up “Nerve Damage”. It’s like he knows we need a few seconds to relax before our nerves become absolutely and willingly destroyed. “Nerve Damage” does just that, as frantic video-game esque melodies combine with accented drums and brief but powerful vocals. There’s no doubt that JLEON knows what he’s doing.

And while JLEON delivers a super fresh style all by himself, Nerve Damage includes a collaboration with artist Esquina on “The Flu”. The result is an absolute banger of jet-fueled bass that shakes the whole earth as it dips and dives through rhythmic hi-hats and electrified melodies. The final track “Endless Matter” is borderline noise, where sounds become blurred into one continuous mind warp yet remain true to underground bass with those infectious hard-hitting snares. In this continually evolving genre of underground bass music, JLEON is bringing something new to Sleeveless Records and this EP is just the beginning.

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