This week at Juno
Given the sweltering weather this week, it seems appropriate that one of this week’s biggest records should seem so appropriate for the climate.
Although only on its third release, Todd Terje hasn’t put a foot wrong since the inception of his Olsen label, and Strandbar is no exception. The jaunty piano line at it core and ascending synths are reminiscent of his classic remix of Shit Robot, albeit with the beach bar of its title in mind rather than a darkened basement. Terje aside, the increasingly barren wastes of disco were looking more verdant then ever this week with essential titles popping up from all over the globe. Affable Aussie Tornado Wallace delivered probably his best record to date on Beats In Space Recordings this week; taking in elements of krautrock, afrobeat and disco, Desperate Pleasures was described by Wallace as being “designed for late night wanderings through Botswanan jungles”, and there’s certainly a humid atmosphere present over the three tracks.
BIS also sneaked out a great 12″ of quirky Eurodisco edits from Brazilian duo Selvagem – like the other BIS edit 12″s from mystery Italian DJ Steve these are much better than your average edit fodder. Aside from these gems it was something of a week for reissues of nu-disco classics, with the A-Sides from Metro Area’s first four Environ 12″s being collected and repressed as Straight A’s, and Mugwump’s “Boutade” finding new life on International Feel after first appearing on the seemingly dormant Misericord in 2008.
This week also saw an eclectic selection of house music crowned by the return of both Tom Trago and Joakim, with the first samples of their mooted new albums arriving in the form of the Frenchman’s Heartbeats on Tigersushi, and the Amsterdam native’s The Light Fantastic sampler; more Gallic house was delivered by Chateau Flight, who made their Permanent Vacation debut with La Pregunta, a suitably balmy cut with accompanying dub version. Looking to Detroit, Todd Osborn came out of a near five year hiatus with the 303 single for Jared Wilson’s 7777 label providing one thick acid cut, and another brighter, melodic house jam packed to the brim with synth layers; Willie Burns’ WT Records also put out no less than three records this week from their New York base, with the neon house of Sabre’s Nightdrive To Bolland, low-slung grooves and searing techno of Chase Smith’s Alright and cosmic acid excursions of Tagwell Woods’ self-titled debut all worthy of closer investigation.
In bassier realms the undisputed standout came from Bristol’s Asusu, who finally followed up that 2011 Livity Sound release with another pair of quite different tracks; “Velez” sees the producer utilise broken techno rhythms, held together with percussion of the jungle-inspired variety, while “Rendering” is a more typical deep house track in the Bristolian tradition. In the realms of the big room, SOPHIE followed up the ubiquitous Nothing More To Say for Huntleys & Palmers with the surprise Bipp single for Numbers. Although we’d be inclined to say it sounds a bit like an updated version of fidget house, there’s no denying the infectious nature of its bubblegum vocal and tweaked out synths that look to trap and grime for inspiration; similarly club ready were a pair of remixes from Scuba’s SCB alias of Arkist’s 2011 track for Apple Pips, “Rendezvous”. On a more traditional tip, Deep Medi delivered the vertebrae-snapping broken UKF of Silkie’s Neckback, featuring the same kind of demented hybrid sound as Champion’s “Crystal Meth” from last year, though for sheer volume of tracks alone, the biggest release within this genre melting pot was the divisive new album from Zomby, with no less than 33 grime-influenced miniatures across the 3 LPs of With Love.
Similarly as sparing in its use of sonic elements was the Public Information debut of Opal Tapes artist IVVVO, whose rave-influenced Future EP blurs the lines between techno and electronica in a similar fashion to Actress. More cloudy, dilapidated techno came courtesy of the prolific Innerspace Halflife, putting out their sixth release in 12 months with the Wormhole Transmissions EP on French imprint Syncrophone, with more of their trademark combination of celestial textures and thick set concrete rhythms. A sequel to Redshape’s Red Pack from 2010 arrived on Delsin complete with thick, muggy synth textures and crunchy drums abound; those craving harder sounds could find solacie in Token’s new Introspective compilation, with label boss Kr!z compiling highlights from the label’s venerable catalogue, while label regular Phase also slipped out his new single On The Edge, with a side of stern peak time tackle and another more reflective track.
The ever impressive Avian released the STRNGHTHS RCNSTRCTNS to accompany serial vowel abusers SHXCXCHCXSH’s forthcoming album, with Shifted, Ventress and Sigha all turning in suitably grizzled remixes of the source material; Shifted could also be found on the long-awaited Black Ideal compilation from Unknown Precept alongside exclusive tracks from the likes of Ancient Methods, Svreca and AnD. However, the most intriguing example of industrial textures this week came from Emotional Rescue, whose Muslimgauze remixes of Suns of Arqa offered a rich tapestry of polyrhythms and compressed noise that sounded like nothing else this week.