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Joie Noire/Blackjoy – The Jekyll EP review

The first two picture disc releases from boutique San Francisco imprint Public Release featured some brilliant and oh-so New York photography, with contemporary 5 borough icons Tim Sweeney and Jacques Renault taking the musical reins. The former  – Sweeney’s only official productions to date – was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it promo affair, while the latter featured four essential edits from the Runaway man.

For release number three we’re treated to a decidedly French affair; steak with chives, what looks like a blob of hollandaise and chips on one side of the record, an empty plate on the other; a brilliant visual concept. Indeed, so brilliant the obvious concern is that the music doesn’t live up to the visual mastery of the release. Thankfully, in the hands of Parisian producer Jerome Caron aka Gallic edit maestro Blackjoy such concerns are quashed well before the needle reaches the run out groove on Side A.

Aptly named the Jekyll EP, Blackjoy debuts his new, somewhat darker Joie Noire alias (which even the pathetically monolingual scribes at Juno Plus could deduce as French for ‘Black Joy’) on the A Side, with the heavy acid jam “Secret”. Bordering on techno, it carries a menacing undertone beneath the intricately layered synth work, showcasing an altogether new facet to the producer’s armoury – a distinct move away from the upbeat disco edits and insouciant house he’s known for.

Flip over and Caron works under his more familiar nom de plume, dropping a sultry slow-mo disco excursion characterised by some wonderfully languid funk riffage. Originally released in shorter form on Blackjoy’s 2010 Erotis album, here the track is extended and given some much needed room to breath.

Aaron Coultate