This week at Juno
Records from Jessy Lanza, Livity Sound, Kodiak, EDMX and PAN all featured in this week’s best releases.
This past seven days saw one of the better weeks for bass-focused releases in some time, and top of the list was the ever-dependable Livity Sound imprint, which returned with Peverelist and Kowton’s second collaboration since the excellent Raw Code on Hessle Audio in February. With its almost trance-like synth refrain, “End Point” is one of the most striking productions to come from the collective, recalling the excellent “Bells” from Pev and Hodge earlier this year. Coming a close second was Goron Sound, the debut from the Alan Johnson duo on Blank Mind; although the name might have connotations of Mark’s boss from Peep Show, their percussive brand of wobble-heavy bass music might be some of the best stuff of its type since Akkord’s debut last year. On a different tip was Pull My Hair Back, the excellent debut album from Canadian artist Jessy Lanza on Hyperdub; produced by Junior Boys member Jeremy Greenspan, it comes highly recommended to fans of slickly produced R&B and synthpop.
Former Juno Plus podcasters Kodiak returned with a killer Dragon Drop EP for DJ Haus’ Hot Haus Recordings, with the pair engaging in some shimmering R&B deconstructions with an aggressive footwork tempo on the title track and some tougher big room ghetto techno on “Egyptian Kings” that’s as enjoyable as their past form would suggest. Similarly club focused was the return of Altered Natives, whose Beastly Ghastly EP for Manchester’s Hoya:Hoya label is an absolutely killer set of tools primed for maximum club devastation. Meanwhile, the grime contingent was well represented by Boxed resident Mr Mitch, whose Suave EP provided some particularly shadowy examples of instrumental grime.
There was much in the way of lustrous deep house music this week; Juno Plus favourites Beautiful Swimmers arrived on Future Times for a two-track single featuring the ’80s-informed house of “New Balance” from their Son album, backed with a typically skewed Max D remix, something nicely complemented by the essential repress of Moon B’s Entropic Feelings EP for Going Good, and the return of Melbournite Bell Towers on Munich’s Public Possession, with “Lightrail” taking the shape of a strident house cut that builds with a sense of glistening euphoria over some eleven minutes.
The appearance of Kill The DJ’s Chloe on Throne of Blood with the Smash EP offered a synth-heavy companion to the chugging set of remixes of Andrew Weatherall and Timothy J Fairplay’s Asphodells project, with Black Merlin, Ivan Smagghe and Scott Fraser amongst the names involved; meanwhile Jerome Derradji’s Still Music issued their latest compilation project, Kill Yourself Dancing, which collected essential material from Chicago’s Sunset Records made between 1985 and 1989, and the revived Dance Mania continued their assault with a Collection of rubbery jack tracks from Robert Armani.
Techno was typically bulging this week, with EDMX leading proceedings with his new Frozen Stomp album on Power Vacuum, containing seven tracks of gnarly acid and hardstyle drums, while the Unterton debut of Kobosil was made of similarly stern stuff, being comprised of shattered glass percussion, dark drones and acidic bass licks. The No Exit EP provided a hypnotic return for Luke Slater’s Planetary Assault Systems moniker, while the perma-masked Redshape offered something with a little more funk in the form of the decidedly Detroit-influenced Made Of Steel. Finally, Delsin issued their second EP celebrating reaching catalogue number 100, with Mike Dehnert, Conforce and CiM offering steely techno, blissed-out dub and subtle electronica respectively – traits all present on the Moritz Von Oswald Trio’s Blue for Honest Jons.
PAN once again dominated the experimental releases, with an offering headed up by their heftiest release to date, a 4 LP live recording made in Glasgow in 2008 of Japanese group Marginal Consort, supposedly containing sounds made from “bamboo, electronics and the contents of a local ironmonger’s bin.” It was well complemented by the latest release from Alter boss Helm, whose Silencer continued his exploration of music’s darker corners – also a feature of the newest Blackest Ever Black release from Moin, a new alias of label regulars Raime, and the second round of Violetshaped remixes from Keith Fullerton Whitman, JK Flesh and Grischa Lichtenberger. Lighter tones could be found on the Weird Universe LP, an incredible offering of technicolour synth distortion from American synth underground producer Unicorn Hard-On, and Seams’ new album Corners, whose colourful melodies documented the producer’s relationship with Berlin.