Jane Remover's 'Census Designated' Balances Calamity and Quietude

BY Spencer Nafekh-BlanchettePublished Oct 20, 2023

Longtime fans of Jane Remover will remember the New Jersey native's dubstep-heavy productions from the mid-2010's — inspired by the likes of Skrillex and Kill the Noise — and her work under her now-retired Leroy pseudonym, responsible for the sensory-overloaded dariacore microgenre birthed by her 2021 album of the same name. 

However, it was only with the release of her first two major solo projects dropped that same year — Teen Week and Frailty – that Jane Remover's singular artistic voice began to truly congeal into something solid. Reminiscent of the lush and colourful pop created by Drain Gang members like Bladee and Ecco2k, those albums saw Remover explore uniquely chaotic new dimensions. While Jane Remover has taken many forms and many names, some things have remained the same: that sense of chaos is always there, accompanied by an unfettered and infectious excitement.

As her sophomore album and first project under her new name, Census Designated sees Jane Remover trade some of that contagious energy for retrospection and tranquility. The record marks a new chapter in Remover's experimental production, but Census Designated feels just as singular and authentic as the artist's earlier creations despite its subtler and more nuanced sound.

As characterized by the United States Census Bureau, a census-designated place is a concentration of population that's considered for statistical purposes only. These dissociated spaces, most of which cover vast expanses of farmland, do not pertain to any other government but to that of the county of which they belong. It is not without reason that Jane Remover has taken a more reflective turn in her artistry: In a press release announcing the album, Remover explained that a "near-death experience" on a cross-country road trip – which prompted her to stop in John Day, Oregon to seek shelter from a blizzard – serves as a basis of influence for this more (relatively) restrained approach to music.

For the most part, this approach works: In a near-miraculous fashion, Remover provides an hour of droning soundscapes that are equally as noisy but significantly more ambient and meditative than her earlier releases. "Fling" begins with harsh static, slowly thinning into something softer and more careful and it's followed by "Leech," a shoegaze anthem which slowly becomes more hectic as it picks up momentum — this one-two punch is an easy highlight, and perhaps the crowning glory of Census Designated

Census Designated's one truly divisive element may prove to be its length, an hour-long odyssey wherein sonic similarities are abundant. On the one hand, this makes it Remover's most cohesive work yet, and with the careful attention given to production and the softer tonal approach, these songs blend together as if they all belong in the same wind-blown dreamscape. But given that Census Designated is the work of the artist responsible for the feverish Dariacore, one sometimes misses the unpredictability that made Remover's earlier work so undeniably one-of-a-kind.

Those who've been following Remover since her early career will undeniably find traces of that recklessness and disorder in Census Designated, while new ears can appreciate the album's gentle balance of calamity and retrospection. It's a wide open world that Remover's created, and it begs you to lose yourself within it. 
(DeadAir Records)

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