Jochem Paap aka Speedy J

The magnificent Ginger (1993) and G Spot (1995) albums are among the finest lounge-room techno or "electronic listening music" releases from the dance music's first wave of chillout music. Born of club music but not confined to it, they are intelligent, dynamic, melodic and at times very subtle.

artist:
Jochem Paap aka Speedy J

country of origin:
Netherlands

style(s):
Ambient techno, ambient trance, industrial, minimalism, electronica

decades active:
90's - 10's

essential releases:

  • Ginger (1993, Warp/Plus 8)
  • G-Spot (1995, Warp/Plus 8)
  • Vrs-Mbnt-Pcs 95-98 I (1999, Fax Records)
  • Vrs-Mbnt-Pcs 95-98 II (1999, Fax Records)

Reviewed by Mike G

Dutch techno musician Jochem Paap is one of a curious breed. Like Aphex Twin, he is a DJ/producer with roots in the tough hardcore end of the techno spectrum who has also produced some highly subtle and sophisticated downbeat music.

Some ambient aficionados know Paap for the pure ambient excursions he did with Fax Records in the late 1990's (see below), but he showed a talent for fragile and beautiful electronic soundscaping much earlier in the decade. While recording under the name Speedy J for renown UK label Warp Records he released the magnificent Ginger (1993) and G Spot (1995) albums, both among the finest lounge-room techno or "electronic listening music" releases from the dance music's first wave of chillout music. Born of club music but not confined to it, they are intelligent, dynamic, melodic and at times very subtle works.

The two volumes of Vrs-Mbnt-Pcs 95-98 are releases under his real name Jochem Paap (the titles are short for "various ambient pieces") and unlike the Speedy J albums they eschew beats altogether. These albums explore glacial, shifting textures and slowly evolving melodic clusters in the restrained, minimal style of Brian Eno but with a more contemporary techno sensibility ala Aphex Twin. Paap's melodic fragments can be either weird and angular ("Spk") or melt-in-your-chair gorgeous ("Dx Synth"); the changes in emotional tone from track to track are considerable. Less approachable then his Warp releases, these are nonetheless very rewarding albums for the patient listener.

A third album on Fax Records with Pete Namlook called pp.nmlk (2004) is rather underwhelming - since then there have been no more ambient releases by Paap in any form.

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