Most club music aspires to make the crowd feel like one pulsating organism ever on the verge of orgasm; Jirku's productions, by contrast, inspire a subdued, tingling sense of well-being that's just as therapeutic as the effects induced by his more extroverted colleagues. His records ignite a party in your head more than in your hips. His contribution to the important Clicks & Cuts 2 comp, "Pohdka," sounds like a tech-house fist-pumper crafted by a cautious optimist. It's typical of Jirku's lean, cutting style. There's a sober propriety about Jirku's cheese-free music, even on a track titled "Booty" (off the Met@music compilation), which rampages and effervesces with a joy tempered by the knowledge that the higher you get, the harder you fall, so let's not get carried away, eh?
But don't think Jirku can't get down and flirty. Sequins (Force Inc., 2000), his most DJ-friendly work (reportedly stitched together from old funk vinyl), reconfigures disco and house for a more severe, less debauched decade. Ravers and club rats won't thrill to its nuanced manipulations of familiar dance-floor tropes, but the album stands as a brilliant subversion of and tribute to much-maligned genres.
Never content to tread water, Jirku detours into aquatic dub with Entropy (intr_version, 2002). Here, his laptop seems to be immersed in Pacific depths, emitting beatific waves that stir you at a molecular level. Listening to it on 'phones may transport you wombward. Jirku's 2003 collaboration with Robin Judge, Plusism, fuses Basic Channel's dub-informed sonic dispersion and illusion-mongering to a panoply of glitchy tonal holographs, then nudges them on their way with buoyant, gliding 4/4 beats. Which style(s) Jirku will unleash at his Seattle gig is uncertain, but wherever he goes, it will likely be extraordinary, as his understatedly powerful set at Decibel proved this September.
Lately, Jirku's been focusing on releasing EPs and compilation tracks. His Zaxxon 3D EP has just been released on Supesharu and he's placed two cuts on Klitekture Records' Epitome Vol. 1 comp.
"It's less about no-holds-barred experimentation for me now," Jirku told Denise Benson of Eye Weekly about his new material. "I'm trying to learn about proper studio and mastering techniques, especially as I'm making more music for the dance floor. Everything before was about seeing how tweaked out I could make a certain piece of software. Now, it's less about happy accidents and more about knowing what results I'm going to get when I try something."
Jirku plays the Orac Records Showcase Fri Dec 17 with Caro, Aaron Bolton, and Rob Warren at CHAC (Lower Level), 1621 12th Ave, 388-0500, 9 pm-2 am, $5, 21+.