Local Action presents the long-awaited second album by Lil Jabba, Grotto.
Jabba made his name producing hypnotic juke and footwork records, back when he was based in Baltimore, quickly catching the attention of footwork figureheads like the late DJ Rashad. His early music was self-released or issued via small-run cassettes, but built Jabba a cult following online. In 2013, Local Action released Scales, a critically-acclaimed collection of Jabba’s key material to date, described by press as one of the year’s “most singular albums.”
Jabba is not just a musician, he’s a painter whose work has been featured in the likes of Vogue and has been commissioned for album covers. Since moving to Brooklyn, he’s operated out of a loft studio called the Grotto that doubles as both a literal and imagined world for his creations – his music, his giant paintings and murals and the creatures and figures that orbit his work.
Later Jabba EPs on Local Action and True Panther focused on bringing the Grotto to life, both through a larger, more expansive sound palette (often featuring samples from the Grotto itself, such as echoes from pipes and room tones) and glimpses of the studio in the EPs’ artwork. These EPs also saw him find new supporters in artists like Hudson Mohawke, Sbtrkt, S-Type, Mumdance and Gilles Peterson, who had ‘Waila’ up for Track of the Year at his Worldwide Awards.
Jabba’s second album Grotto is the encapsulation of his story so far. It’s a genre-less record that draws from dub, Southern hip-hop, jungle and more without ever conforming to stereotypes, driven by the moonlit melodies and dynamic shifts that have always been present in his work. This is one of electronic music’s most individual voices in its most realised form yet.