The electronic musician Jitwam squats on the ground in front of cacti and behind pink flowers, wearing a bucket hat.
Jitwam Credit: Courtesy the artist

Born in India, raised in New Zealand and Australia, and based I’m not sure where, pop provocateur Jitwam might seem fickle—his outre style leapfrogs from sun-bleached, broken psychedelia (“Drowning in Tomorrow,” from 2017’s ज़ितम सिहँ) to sparkling, limber nu-funk (“Busstop,” from 2019’s Honeycomb), to minimal, mumbled soul (“Stronger,” from 2019’s Purple EP). But there’s a core to his sound: in a 2018 interview with Passion of the Weiss, the producer, singer, and DJ invoked Madlib’s genre hopping, which orbited a clear center of gravity, to explain his own. “Madlib never forgot about his hip-hop fans,” Jitwam said. “Even though he was mad into jazz, or mad into rock and roll or industrial, he never lost his hip-hop fans. I’m really trying to take a page out of that book. Flex these different styles, but also have some continuation of an aesthetic.” Jitwam keeps disco and house close to his heart, and injects their intuitive dance-floor pulse into all his music. Those influences stay front and center on his October collaboration with Australian duo Cosmo’s Midnight, “Feel Good” (Defected Records Limited/The Remedy Project), a refined nu-disco single that constantly refreshes its graceful momentum with violin flourishes, limber funk bass lines, and melodic froufrou—it balances exquisite detail with irresistible danceability.

Henry Wu, Jitwam, Leja Hazer, Fri 2/4, 10 PM, Smartbar, 3730 N. Clark, $20, $15 in advance, 21+