If you're not yet familiar with the sound, history, and progressive efforts of the Jersey Club movement, first—click this link—then ask yourself, "why am I missing out on one of the most exciting happenings in all of dance music?" Then repeat until you get it.
Led by the original New Jersey collective Brick Bandits which originally consisted of DJ Tameil, Tim Dolla, and Mike V, Jersey Club is a sound that's not only redefined the creative output of the city of Newark, but also has quickly spread its influence across the world. Like any hotly tipped sound, Jersey Club has continued to grow and evolve alongside the artists that first introduced it, a prime example being the ranging musical style of R3LL's debut original EP—Directions, which is streaming in full above.
"When people think of Jersey Club, they think of that famous kick pattern (I call it the 'heartbeat') and I wanted to stay true to that, but also build around it and try to push the boundaries and limits a little bit, hence the title of Directions. I don't want to stay with one style of music, I want my sound to continue to grow and develop," R3LL tells THUMP about the range of tones on his EP, which drops tomorrow as the first release on the newly minted Brick Bandits label.
While our documentary series on Jersey Club outlined the subtle disdain a few of its leaders have for the spread and possible manipulation of the sound they created, R3LL remains open minded about the genre-mashing and cultural mixing that is possible through the efforts of international Jersey Club:
"I was a DJ first, but when I spin I mix it up with UK bass, house, deep house, electronica, vogue, and hip-Hop. I wanted my EP to develop on that idea; that Jersey doesn't need to live in this little bubble, it can develop structurally and merge with other sounds and influence other worlds."
As evident in R3LL's debut, which sees him collaborate with a number of UK artists (and pushers of club music) like Sinden and Riddim Commission, the sounds on the release are diverse; ranging from the revered kick pattern, to spacier sounds falling more in line vast areas of the electronic genre pool.
"Jersey Club music evolves every year," R3LL says. "You have my peers such as Sliink, Nadus, Tr!ck$ and Uniiqu3, who are pushing [Jersey Club] out there and showing how it's being accepted all over the world. Personally, I think Jersey Club will keep growing and will continue to crossover into the mainstream—we've already seen it influence pop music; I was asked to remix Iggy Azalea's last single, Cashmere Cat has collaborated with Ariana Grande."
Like any young DJ and producer who's helping lead a charge on a movement, R3LL comands a near-endless level of optimism for the sound he helped build and popularize: "The last year was so huge for Jersey Club and no one could have anticipated that, so honestly who knows what might happen next year? We're only limited by our imaginations," he says.