This Week At Juno

More Rye Lane stories from Al Dobson Jr, the return of Ondo Fudd, conceptual excursions from Dalhous, Don’t DJ meets Dresvn, a debut Bookworms LP and fresh Lowtec cuts. 

Al Dobson Jr – Rye Lane Volume II & III (Rhythm Section International)

It’s quite remarkable how quickly and successfully Rhythm Section has established itself as a glittering example of authentic modern soul and distinctive house music. It’s only two years since the label sprung into action with Rye Lane Volume One by the then-little-known Al Dobson Jr, and the artists that have since gathered around the Peckham-focused concern have all drawn from the same inspirations of loose, organic drum lines and dusty soul harmonics. Returning to the fray Mr Dobson’s son has a plethora of new material on offer, with a whopping 28 different cuts making up Volume II & Volume III of this self-styled series. Often those cuts touch on startlingly simples ideas, largely focused on percussive tones with thoughtful, delicate musical elements scattered on top, but all played out with a heartfelt tone that you just can’t fake.
Listen/buy vinyl

Leron Carson – Lemonlime (Sound Signature)

Like the quintessential Mid West enigma (think OB Ignitt, Jason Fine et al), Leron Carson has stealthily popped up on Theo Parrish’s Sound Signature just four times in the past 15 years, and that’s including this latest outing, but he’s been doing his thing for a long time as the Red Lightbulb Theory collection of late ‘80s productions attested. On this latest outing, “Lemonlime” is a needlepoint slice of Detroit house that moves with the simple immediacy of a Mike Clark production, all upfront clean drum sounds and a neat piano hook that does everything it needs to for a DJ-friendly club burner. “Sof N Thik” meanwhile plies a very different trade on the B-side, getting all heavy-lidded and smoked out with nasty hi hats rasping away over ill defined, longing keys and muddy bass. The gritty production suggests this is an old joint with all the lo-fi romanticism you could ask for.
Listen/buy vinyl

Dalhous – The Composite Moods Collection Volume One: House Number 44 (Blackest Ever Black)

a3370597385_10With their first two albums Marc Dall and Alex Ander proved to be adept at wielding ominous, bass laden tones to their own bleak, stoutly British musical vision. That evocative grey sky feeling carries through to their next conceptual excursion, exploring the notion of music as a device to define or alter a mood within a given space. In this first instance, the scene has been set in an imaginary house occupied by a couple in a strained relationship, and so the Dalhous studio pours out its own emotionally harried mood to either direct or reflect the would-be subjects’ personal peaks and troughs of feeling. With or without the premise, the music paints a vivid picture through its detailed thickets of ever-swirling melodic layers and shapely sound design flutters. As you would expect from Dall and Ander, the music isn’t one of joyful exuberance, but there remains a powerful beauty in these world-weary tones.
Listen/buy vinyl

Ondo Fudd – Blue Dot (The Trilogy Tapes)

When he’s not turning out ectoplasmic techno variations as Call Super, Joseph Richmond-Seaton sometimes finds time to indulge in more esoteric fare as Ondo Fudd. So far this has only manifested in one single on The Trilogy Tapes some two years ago, but now we get to dive once more into the less dancefloor-focused side to this never-dull artist on a three-pronged trip of astounding beauty. The title track alone is a wonder to behold, dealing in delicate looping melodic refrains, sultry clarinet and captivating splashes of metallic sound design. There are beats to be found as well, as on “The Fludd”, but they come married with high levels of introspection that keep this record perfectly suited to private indulgence, or a warm-up / back room scenario at an adventurous push. And rightly so, this is music to be savoured like a fine whisky, not devoured like an overpriced tinny.
Listen/buy vinyl

Lowtec – Untitled (Blundar)

CS605797-01A-MEDYou can’t beat that thrill that comes from the uncertainty of how a new Lowtec record will sound. It’s not that Jens Kuhn’s storied career has ever veered into mindless eclecticism, but he’s one of those artists who never fails to be interesting. Indeed, this inaugural record for Swedish label Blundar is right on the money for any fan of the Lowtec sound, but still it manages to delight and surprise as it meanders through idiosyncratic canyons between the more obvious peaks of electronic music styles. There is propulsive mutant techno of a fine, deep variety on the opening track, while some of those utterly beguiling synth warbles Kuhn does so well populate “Track 2” before scratchy anti-grooves take hold on “Track 3” only to cool right down to a slinky slow jam to close the EP out. It’s as weird as anything Kuhn has ever done, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.
Listen/buy vinyl

Bookworms – Xenophobe (BANK)

The music of Nik Dawson always has something to say. It’s not an explicit message, but rather a strong statement of identity that refuses to merge into the background. It’s not even that his music is all that unique, tapping as it does into the heritage of ear-catching, tough-edged hardware house and techno spelt out from long before the Bookworms name crept onto the scene in 2012. Whatever the case, his music still brims with an infectious character that has buffeted him from L.I.E.S. to Russian Torrent Versions and onwards, now landing him on the shores of Entro Senestre’s new label BANK. With his debut album, Xenophobe, Dawson travels through plenty of different soundscapes from metallic dubbers to melodic thumpers, continually writhing in a mass of outboard muck but never losing the warm, emotional core that always makes his tracks such a pleasure to get lost in. Watch out for the near 20-minute epic “STE-027”!
Listen/buy vinyl

Djrum vs Struction – Struktur (Ilian Tape)

It’s been no secret that the Zenker Brothers have forged something of a bridge between UK bass sounds a la Livity et al and their own roots in Germanic techno. The music of Stenny, Andrea and the Zenkers themselves has been rippling with the energy of chopped up breaks delivered in crafty and unconventional ways, and in that sense it actually makes sense that Djrum would find himself on the label. “Untitled 9” moves with all the sharp edit swagger and moody textural finery that an Ilian Tape jam should, while fitting into the meandering catalogue of the artist as well. The identity of Struction has not been verified, although it could easily be Djrum stepping out under a new alias, and the skippy delights of “Don’t Blame” in particular stand out as the work of a learned producer. “Strukture” is no slouch either, wallowing in dynamic synth lines without the need to resort to drums.
Listen/buy vinyl

Don’t DJ – Gammellan (Berceuse Heroique)

It seems like now is Florian Meyer’s time to shine, as the Dusseldorf mainstay reaches to ever new heights of recognition. Already this year his endeavours alongside his Diskant brethren have been highlighted on a fine compilation courtesy of Emotional Response, while the Authentic Exoticism 12” on SEXES is proving to be quite a draw, but now you can indulge in the non-standard rhythmic trysts of Don’t DJ back on Berceuse Heroique after last year’s Hexentrix single. The added bonus on this particular release is that the already wild sounds get a re-fixing from Dresvn which is no bad thing at all. Meyer’s original creation “Gammellan” is predictably focused on metallic, melodic percussive tones moving with an intoxicating cyclical motion, which Dresvn then load up with starry-eyed arpeggios and hopeful techno drums and then ping right up into the stratosphere. It’s a fitting destination for such wonderfully celestial music.
Listen/buy vinyl