About Low Jack
French electronic music producer Philippe Hallais, aka Low Jack, grew up in a small town in Brittany. Isolated from any music scene, he spent countless hours as a teenager on internet forums, where he was exposed to a dizzying array of formative influences including grime, backpack hip-hop (particularly the Def Jux crew), ghetto house, and Detroit electro. He studied in Rennes for a few years before moving to Nantes, where he started producing his own music, synthesizing these disparate forms into a unique, idiosyncratic style. Beginning with the Slow Dance EP in 2012, a wildly eclectic series of singles encompassing everything from jacking house to experimental techno, introduced him to the world. Later he moved to Paris, where he set up shop in the funky, artistic 11th arrondissement, already home to many of his friends from the new Parisian scene. There he met noise techno agitator Ron Morelli, who had recently moved to Paris from his hometown of New York. Low Jack's debut album of grimy, atmospheric industrial techno, 2014's Garifuna Variations, was released on Morelli's label L.I.E.S.
Hallais founded a new label, Editions Gravats, with longtime friend and obsessive crate-digger Jean Carval, to showcase up-and-coming producers from Brittany. His own second album as Low Jack, Sewing Machine, was released in 2015 on In Paradisum, another label belonging to the new Parisian scene. A short, sharp set of vicious noise techno, it was even more punishing and percussive than his debut. His third album, 2016's Lighthouse Stories, was released on cult U.K. imprint Modern Love, a first for the label, which had never before released anything by an outsider of the tightly knit Manchester scene. Inspired by Hallais' teenage memories and the uniquely melancholy diaries of lighthouse keepers, the record was quite different from his previous albums and somewhat closer in tone to his earliest singles. Fractured and dreamlike, it played with genres such as hip-hop and footwork, cutting them up in a disorienting way which at times brought it closer to musique concrète than any contemporary dance music style. ~ John D. Buchanan