This week at Juno
Music from Millie & Andrea, Szare, A Made Up Sound, DJ Guy and Voices From The Lake made up a techno-heavy week.
As the first third of the year draws to a close, it becomes apparent just how good a year it’s been for albums, and the eagerly awaited long player from Andy Stott and Miles Whittaker’s Millie & Andrea project might just be sitting on top alongside Perc’s brilliant The Power And The Glory. Although the duo only returned to collaboration this year, Drop The Vowels is as bracing a collection of hardcore continuum-mangling tracks as anything featured on any of their essential singles between 2008-2010. Equally as good is the debut LP from low-key UK techno duo Szare, who released their debut album on techno stronghold Frozen Border this week. Taking the form of a package containing a 13-track CD entitled Carved in Those Dancing Gravestones and six tracks on 2 LPs entitled Lost Shapes, it’s the former that really impresses offering an atmospheric home listening experience that comes highly recommended.
This week was also bulging with techno 12″s, the biggest of which was the latest Livity Sound remix single, which saw two dense remixes of Asusu’s “Velez” from A Made Up Sound. If you’ve heard either of these on the radio recently you’ll know the damage they can do, but they really are next level. After nearly a year of waiting, All Caps finally delivered 20, a record of archival material from Cardiff veteran DJ Guy, containing three vintage yet strangely prescient hardware tracks, all nicely complemented by Complaints, Porn Sword Tobacco and SVN’s collaborative single for Kontra-Musik, which had a sound reminiscent of early Detroit minimal. The label associated with New York’s famed club The Bunker also put out it’s highest profile record to date, the Velo Di Maya EP featuring three reconstructions of live tracks from Donato Dozzy and Neel’s Voices From The Lake project.
Disco had its best week for some time thanks in no small part to the sprawling The Sky Is Yours album for Leng, which arrived in two parts across four LPs – those who remember their killer work on Rong Music in the last decade are highly advised to check it out. Meanwhile Todd Terje made the last preparations for his debut album with a 7″ entitled Leisure Suit Preben, which features two neo-lounge tracks straight from It’s Album Time, and the ever-dependable Permanent Vacation delivered a collaborative release between legendary Ash Ra Tempel member Harald Grosskopf and the mysterious Efestion, with the cosmic Italo house sounds of “Subconscio” joined by a deep remix from the Permanent Vacation duo themselves.
This week also saw the release of the debut album from Mauritius native Joseph Deenmamode, who delivered on the promise of his early EPs for One Handed Music with a brilliant self-titled LP of hip hop by way of kaleidoscopic house music which will equally please fans of both J Dilla and Future Times. Similarly colourful funk sounds were present on the latest Eglo release, the Worm Jelly 7″ from Australian artist Kirkis, who delivered what might be the label’s best new find for some time. A little more dancefloor-focused, but containing more than a nod to hip house was Szirka, the latest Studio Barnhus plate from Kornél Kovács, which also came with a contrasting rework from Swedish techno enigma Abdulla Rashim, who reworked it into a strangely elastic piece of dub techno. Dublin’s All City also came through with one of the week’s most uplifting records in the form of Gamertag’s You Don’t Know Me, four loose beat constructions fitting somewhere between house music, bass and hip hop.
This week’s more esoteric records were headed up by the new record on Gunnar Wendel’s Ominira label, which came from The Midnight Episode duo. The self titled 11-track set fully lives up to its billing as a “selection of dark and glittering late night tunes drawing on the legacy of British horror”, and fans of Demdike Stare’s Tryptych series will definitely enjoy this. Darker music still came on Hospital Productions’ vinyl reissue of Prurient’s Cocaine Death. Originally released across three cassettes in 2007 and 2008, this remastered version allows those who may only have picked up on Dominick Fernow’s work recently to experience what must be some of his most visceral forays into noise. Also arriving on Hospital was Waters Above The Firmament, the new record from Mike and Tara Connelly’s Clay Rendering project. As you’d expect from a project containing an ex-member of Wolf Eyes, the four tracks are abrasive in tone, but with a considerably more meditative quality than you’d expect, even slipping into the realm of pop at times. Finally, Downwards presented their latest signing, Chicago-based duo Talker, whose Cut The Weight presented their paganistic style of atmospheric techno to the world across three tracks.