This week at Juno
By now you will have fully soaked in the exciting news that we’re bringing the excellent John Talabot over in September to DJ at our second birthday shenanigans in Dalston. We’ve been itching to let it loose, but thankfully there’s been plenty of quality – if somewhat mysterious – music out this week to keep us occupied.
The arrival of the mighty Roland’s Jam by the mightier Funkineven on the mightiest Eglo imprint was reason alone to celebrate – a dextrous and rough round the edges three track insight into the producer’s forthcoming long player. Do expect the worthy slab of tempo shifting, tuff 303 circulations that is the title track to feature in our end of year favourites – the killer lupine photography is the undoubted winner in cover art of the week too.
On the subject of music that bangs and is decidedly on the rougher side of proceedings, may we direct your attention to double vinyl delight that is Second Son, John Heckle’s debut album for Mathematics. Long earmarked as eagerly awaited at Juno Plus HQ, the ten track set does not disappoint showcasing his gritty, raw slant on techno but also finding space for beatless ambient interludes. Throw in releases from messrs Dehnert, Redshape and Mr Fingers getting the Creme Jak treatment from a mystery producer and it’s a good week for techno.
If you like your house music cloaked in atmosphere and intrigue then the second release from the secretive Love Unlimited Vibes enclave has your name on it in invisible ink – do especially check the Ethereal Sounds worthy A Side sprawl. Living up to the expectations of Fred P releasing music on Mule, the former’s two track debut for the latter demonstrated a common depth, but also a pleasingly different set of moods. Fans of this will also want to check the newness from Balance Alliance, with the mysterious City 2 City at the helm for a quartet of tracks dripping with the warmth and groove that accompanies each release from the Balance sublabel.
Our eyes were not being deceptive – Swamp 81 did finally serve up the ubiquitous Sicko Cell which had a divisive effect on the editorial team; thankfully this air of discontent did not last as we all very much liked the combination of Arkist, Kidkut and Hotflush and the return of Old Apparatus to Deep Medi Musik which just slipped into second place in the artwork of the week race.
We were not sure if the return of Cos/Mes should be classed as disco or not, but regardless it was a truly great slice of hypnotic electronic music from the Japanese duo and a more than worthy reason to contribute to the ongoing attempts to help the relief effort in their Japanese homeland, still reeling from the devastation of an earthquake and tsunami earlier this year. And look, we had to stop calling them Italians Be In A Slumber as Senor Simonetti’s label dropped two twelve inches of repute, one from Italo legend Fred Ventura and the other a collection of Hollywood Seven versions tweaked by Mike and Johnny Jewel. Those who consider themselves fast should check out the crazily limited twelve from Justin Velor on the Brutal Music imprint, and also the last mention of a mystery producer this week goes to the Eros twelve by Eros on the Eros label.
Over at Juno Download, this week heralded the arrival of the latest instalment in Stroboscopic Artefact’s Monad series. With the exclusion of benchmark labels like Underground Resistance, techno music is largely devoid of concepts, so the Monad series is always met with excitement here at Juno Plus HQ. This time, it was the turn of Japanese producer Go Hiyama, who served up the kind of diversity Monad demands. Staying on a techno tip, we were hugely impressed by AnD, who have been issuing forth an unstoppable amount of machine funk tackle this year. As some of their previous output has suggested, the pair have a fondness for broken rhythms, and this tendency came to the fore on “Algorythmic Love” – highly recommended stuff.
Now, it’s rare to see a debutant deep house producer really hit the spot, but that’s exactly what Infected Soul – AKA Mpilwenhle Cele – did for Mule. Taking on the challenge of delivering the second volume of the African Calling series, he laid down two immaculate deep house groovers that got just the right balance between tortured melancholy, hypnotic rhythms and subtle dancefloor chops. Elsewhere, Mount Kimbie were remixed by techno deity Peter Van Hoesen, Airhead and R&S prodigy Klaus. Special mentions also go to the new EP from Roska on Rinse and Damu’s missive for Local Action.
Some nice CD shaped treats this week too, including the Secretsundaze 2xCD mix (nice work messrs Smith and Priestly) and the DFRNT album, an impressive opus influenced as much by classic IDM and Basic Channel as the mellow junglisms of LTJ Bukem and the Good Looking label. Add to that lot the Machinedrum album on Planet Mu, a killer Rub N Tug mix and the third album from Swedish four-piece Little Dragon! Last but certainly not least this week was a new soundtrack from Jeff Mills (remember Metropolis? Amazing). Inspired by the 1966 film Cyborg 2087, 2087 offers a dark and uneasy but at times brilliant mix of intense dancefloor techno, creepy electronica, woozy ambience and clunking IDM – all designed to mirror the cloying futurist horror of the original film.