This week at Juno

The unshaven and uncouth look was all the rage at Juno this week, what with a surfeit of jolly Christmas parties and the DJ Mag Best Of British awards held on Wednesday.

We were chuffed to take home the Best Music Outlet gong for the fourth year in a row – a sincere thanks to all of you who voted. Luckily the battle hardened Juno Plus scribes know how to burn the candle at both ends – good thing too because the quality releases continued to come in thick and fast.

On the vinyl front, we were treated to some upfront copies of new Eddie C jams on the excellent Japanese label Sound Of Speed. There’s always an undeniable class to any track the prolific Canadian producer puts his name to and that standard was definitely maintained on this sumptuous EP.

Jay Shepheard’s Retrofit label reached release no. 4 with a solo endeavour from the boss that truly encapsulated the label’s mantra of referencing vintage house, disco and techno but laying it in a sheen of contemporary sonic dynamism. There was some heavy hypno techno pressure from Marco Bernardi (artwork pictured above) on the always excellent Crème Organisation which gained big bonus points for a remix from DJ Sprinkles.

Elsewhere Fernando returned to the stylish Redux imprint for an 12” crammed with low slung delights housed in some of the best artwork we’ve seen all year. And having done his bit to foster cordial relations between the US and Russia by releasing EPs from Anton Zap and Nina Kraviz, Underground Quality chief Jus-Ed turned his wordly gaze in the direction of the small, unassuming island(s) of Malta. The Malteser who earned the affection of Ed was Owen Jay, who laid down four slices of sumptuous deepness in the vein of Fred P.

It was a good week for those who like their techno dark and brooding, with new releases on Frozen Border and its baby sister Horizontal Ground, for whom DJ Skirt produced a stunning 12″ that could easily double as a soundtrack to one of those Japanese horror films you have to watch through your fingers.

There were squeals of delight from all at Juno at the arrival of the first 10″ from the Floating Points Ensemble – hopefully the teaser for a full album – you reading this Mr Shepherd? Plus the old record store staple (“oh we just found another 30 copies out the back – super hot, limited!”) turned out to be actually true when one of our stockroom staff stumbled across some copies of Moodymann’s Anotha Black Sunday 12″, which was supposedly sold out months and months ago. So if you missed it first time round, check it out here.

Meanwhile it was all plain sailing on the good ship Juno Download, with a pretty damn hot Dissident compilation containing a couple of new gems, alongside releases from Andy Ash, Jacques Greene and Tom Trago.

Dimitri traded in the croissants for the wasabi and donned his Dimitri From Tokyo alias for some overtly cheeky discoid edits. Perhaps flying in the face of the endless quest for disco edit types to out–obscure each other, the choice of tracks used here by Dmitri is much more obvious but there’s a natural prowess to the little tweaks and cuts that is all too absent from the majority.

The CD department was dominated by three essential releases – from Moodymann, Nicholas and the Perlon crew – none of which we expect to stay on the shelves too long.

Well, that’s it folks – only a few more sleeps until xmas!

As always, happy hunting.