In the simplest of terms, Jaro is a producer hailing from Chicago; however, that is selling him and his talent short. The young beatsmith has knack for manipulating modern sounds to his will and breathing life back into the old, familiar tunes. He has worked with a number of artists, to provide his vintage, yet hauntingly new age touch to their projects—including his genre bending band, Beach Jesus. Now, Jaro has compiled a few personal experiments for a solo project all his own.
La Rouge is a beautiful, albeit short, road map through the young producer's past influences and anxious future. Only five tracks long and sixteen minutes in length, the EP is easy to consume in one sitting, train ride, short car ride, or meal, but will take a considerably longer time to properly digest. He refused to put together a string of instrumentals, this is not a beattape; every song features a singer or a recognizable vocal sample interacting in cool ways.
"Be my love" is quite possibly La Rouge most interesting track. Somehow, Jaro samples both Justin Timberlake's chorus on "Be My Love" and Sisqo's "Thong Song" hook. One might think that these two will not pair well; however, when Jaro got his hands on both samples and threw them over his ethereal production, magic was made. The subdued synthesizers and dreamy keys in the background undercut the two wildly different original melodies and meshes the old pop hits together. He slows down the Timberlake's and Sisquo's vocals to the point that they sound near drowsy, and in the process transforms their meaning and delivery.
"Unlike You" is another sample based track, featuring Ciara's chorus from Bow Wow's classic "Like You." Jaro maintains the original rapidly ascending, descending melody from the source material, but once again atop a vibe heavy beat. "Unlike You" has more of bounce than majority of the other La Rouge songs, thanks to an unrelenting kick and spacey sounding percussion. It does not float through the motions, but powers through and smashes the door down.
"Moonlight" is a gorgeous introduction to the EP. Sean Deaux provides a great feature, regretfully crooning to a lady friend in near hush tones. Jaro's production chops are really on display on this track. There are a number of unique sounds that are flying all over the place, including what seems to be some horn/synth mixture yo-yoing between being stretched away to the limit and then rapidly returning. Additionally, he starts a piano overture that covers the entire project. The keys are played during transitions, rendering silence almost nonexistent in La Rouge.
"Medusa" and "Goodbye" are great songs in their own right, Aura and Cae Jones chemistry really makes the former. The latter feels like a really good Beach Jesus track, which is a great introduction to their music. Jaro has a talent of knowing how to make use of the talent that he is afforded, which includes vocalists. La Rouge is a solid debut effort, even if it could be twice as long. His mixture of old and new gives the project a unique sound, one that will have you intoxicated and leave you wanting more.