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This week at Juno

The first week of 2015 brings us soundtrack-influenced wave experiments, furious techno, a slew of instrumental grime and more.

Lena Willikens – Phantom Delia (Cómeme)

phantom-delia-200For some time now Lena Willikens’ Sentimental Flashback has been the go-to radio mix series for us in the office, while her reputation as a DJ continues to grow. All this makes the arrival of her debut EP on Cómeme, co-produced by Matias Aguayo, a very exciting thing indeed. Those familiar with her style will find the Phantom Delia EP a succinct distillation of her influences, including the radiophonic music of Delia Derbyshire the record is named after. There’s also the sounds of pulsing wave on “Howlin Lupus” and “Asphalt Kobald” and even Giallo horror vibes on “Noya Noya”, albeit shot through with that unique sense of rhythm that permeates all Cómeme releases. In short, it’s one of the first essential records of the year.
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Various – Coyote Kings Vol. 2 (Coyote Records)

coyote-kings-II-200Coyote Records has become a must-check label in the world of instrumental grime, with EPs from Spare and Chemist giving us some of the most visceral examples of the genre in 2014. This is the label’s second digital-only Coyote Kings compilation, and like the first offers a great barometer of grime talent for the year ahead, with much hyped talent like Sharp Veins and Local Action’s Yamaneko sitting alongside lesser-known talent like Rejig and Underclass. Stylistically the compilation goes everywhere from classic square wave shelldowns to intricate crystalline structures, but our favourite track has to be Adelaide producer Strict Face’s “Taipan Showers”, which combines an abstract half-time rhythm with Eastern-tinged melodies and disembodied vocals, sounding something like Slackk making a horror soundtrack.
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Head Front Panel – HFP #009 (Head Front Panel)

hfp009-200At the start of 2014, Tabernacle launched the Head Front Panel offshoot to release a series of anonymous records of fairly unrelenting techno. Along the way several names were mooted as being responsible, including Jeff Mills and Sunil Sharpe, but with the final record in the series it has been revealed to all be the work of John Heckle. Listening the the thick analogue textures and classic Detroit sounds across the three tracks on HFP #009 it now seems blindingly obvious, and it certainly doesn’t take away from the fact these records are some of the best techno of recent years. We’re looking forward to seeing what Heckle does with the alias next…
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Low Jack – Imaginary Boogie (The Trilogy Tapes)

imaginary-boogie-200Parisian producer Low Jack had a breakthrough year in 2014, releasing the conceptually and musically brilliant Garifuna Variations album on L.I.E.S. and starting his own Editions Gravats label. His account for 2015 opens with the Imaginary Boogie EP for The Trilogy Tapes, which serves up six fine examples of his unique blend of scuffed, noisy electronics and oddball dance floor maneuvers. The title track offers the most accessible example of his sound, with a deep but rough track reminiscent of Terekke, but the remaining five tracks veer into the realms of abstraction much like his excellent LP on L.I.E.S.
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Manuel Gonzales – Full Frontal (Berceuse Heroique)

full-frontal-200Last year saw Berceuse Heroique coming into its own as a label, capping off the year by delivering a clutch of great records and dropping its first records with full sleeve artwork. Esteemed Mo’Wax designer Ben Drury lent his hand to the killer Full Frontal 12” from Detroit’s Manuel Gonzales, who returned to the label for another pair of brilliant tracks. The title track channels Jeff Mills as his most hypnotic, while retaining Gonzales’ own rough signature, while the Ramon Ramirez collaboration “Blowout” is a much deeper affair reminiscent of Gonzales’ work as Savant.
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Dorisburg – Splade (Northern Electronics)

splade-200If there’s one Swedish name we didn’t expect to see on Northern Electronics anytime soon it’s Genius of Time producer Dorisburg. Known for a string of excellent house-inclined releases on Aniara and Bossmusik, on the Splade 12” Dorisburg goes into much headier territory, exploring the frozen, dubby sounds of the label in his own unique way. Both the title track and “Business Propaganda” offer some expectedly blacked-out, heads-down techno, but it’s “Uncertainty” we keep reaching for, an unexpectedly bright piece of techno whose darting delays are like the audio embodiment of the northern lights.
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Sueño Latino & Manuel Göttsching – Sueño Latino with Manuel Göttsching performing E2/E4 (Dance Floor Corporation Germany)

sueno-latino“Sueño Latino” has been issued countless times since it was released in 1989, but we’ll allow any chance to indulge a track so good. Recorded in 1989 by the Italian band of the same name, the track took elements of Manuel Göttsching’s classic “E2/E4” and created a brilliant Balearic-tinged house track filled with oddball textures and unashamed loon samples. This edition features the track (renamed to reflect Göttsching’s full contribution) in “Paradise”, “Agua” and “Winter” versions alongside a pretty banging Derrick May remix. The full story behind the track on the cover – as told by Giovanni Natale, the man who signed the tune – offers some fascinating insight into the murky world of sample clearance in 1989 too.
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