If most records are made in privacy and then given to the world’s stages, then ‘Beyond The Pale’ is the opposite: pulled together using live recordings taken from over the last three years as its basis, it’s an album that’s been created communally only to land, ironically, into a world devoid of any such fun. And while the concept doesn’t necessarily equate to anything like a traditional ‘live album’, what it has managed is to completely distil the strange, undulating atmosphere of the JARV IS… live experience into a record that throbs and pulses with the same energy. Previous single ‘MUST I EVOLVE?’ attempts to track the entire theory of human evolution over tense, propulsive instrumentation; ‘Sometimes I Am Pharoah’ twitches and heavy-breathes over metallic rumbles, while ‘Save The Whale’ inches along on sparse, almost dub beats. There’s something of the seedy atmosphere of ‘This Is Hardcore’ that runs throughout (particularly on the lusty ‘Swanky Modes’), but this time the sordid scenes are transposed to a sparser, more electronic landscape. The constant – and the constant joy – however remains Jarvis’s inimitable way with wordplay - there are, after all, few people who could get away with rhyming “claustrophobia” with “disrobing ya”, as he does on ‘House Music All Night Long’. Pushing nearly 30 years in the game, JARV IS… still an absolute one-of-a-kind.
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