With the Indian summer in full effect throughout London this week, it’s been a mercifully quiet week for news in the electronic music world, allowing the Juno Plus editorial a chance to ease out the hangovers accumulated from our second birthday last Friday.
Thanks to everyone that came down and to our guest DJs whose collective tightness behind the decks was impressive to say the least, and sort of showed up the Juno Plus tag-team action early doors. Back patting aside, there was the chance to soak in some fine music this week, with the much vaunted debut release on Tim Sweeney’s Beats In Space arriving, resplendent in the fine cover art you see above, and filled with two slices of Gallic bliss from Parisian duo Paradis.
Equally impressive in the debut release on a new label stakes was the new twelve from Mark Seven, who’s been a bit quiet since his all conquering Endless Flight burner last year. Working Girl is nothing but wondrous, with Mark effortlessly rewiring some unknown 1980s jam with 21st century potency across three differing versions under the new Parkway Rhythm alias. Furthermore it comes pressed on thick vinyl and housed in a lovely screen printed sleeve.
Deviating towards the house end of the electronic spectrum, Vakula dropped another Shevchenko 12″ with two tracks replete with such detail it’s hard to compare his work to anyone else. The Ukrainian also got involved on a 12″ from Anton Zap’s imperious Ethereal Sounds label alongside Fred P, Pjotr and Benedikt Frey. On a similar tip, also arriving from Eastern Europe was the Rawarious 12″ from Rawax which for those oblivious to the art of the pun featured the likes of Alex Danilov, Brother G, Diebo and Unbroken Dub operating in the deeper end of the house & techno spectrum. Do check the new release on the lesser spotted Clone Club Series which features a rare late 90s Jersey house collab betwixt DJ Deep and Jovonn.
At the moment there seem to be any number of producers and collectives operating in the murky depths of techno – we are particularly looking forward to the new Andy Stott LP – and this week there was plenty to smudge out to, not least the excellent one sided twelve from the enigmatic Chasing Voices collective. Cavernous treatment of percussive rhythms? Check! Deep set droning textures? Check! Sinewy acid lines? Check! The new release from young one Gerry Read on 2nd Drop is one to check too, with “Roomland” sounding like Anton Zap getting the knackered house treatment. Nice embossed sleeve and accompanying Youandewan remix too!
There’s more techno to recommend in the shape of some new material from one of Detroit’s lesser known but no less influential artists Reel by Real, whose Surkit Chamber: The Melding is his first material in two decades – kudos to Mojuba offshoot a.r.t.l.e.s.s. for making this happen. The Big Family EP was a suitably titled release from the Restoration crew too, as Analogue Cops shared studio duties with Blawan on one side and Ostgut don Ryan Elliot on the other – watch out for “45 Dollars”!
Over at Juno Download all eyes were on Modeselektor’s first album in four years, and Monkeytown impressively flits between skittish 140 BPM bass music, clandestine electronica, sludgy hip-hop and even warehouse-flavoured tropical rhythms. Another impressive album arrived digitally in the shape of Coracle, the second long player from UK duo Walls on Kompakt. It’s gloriously sumptuous stuff, shuffling between intense Balearic beauty and quiet contemplation with consummate ease.
There were plenty of other impressive EPs arriving in the digital domain following vinyl releases: Blawan doing the best with what he has for R&S, techno don Regis on Blackest Ever Black, a hugely impressive return to Nonplus from Kassem Mosse, more Rick Wilhite curated Vibes for Rush Hour, Scuba’s deep house anthem “Adrenalin”, an impressive raft of Rapture remixes on DFA, and a new single from a pair of hirsute Frenchman known as Justice. There some pleasant surprises to round off the week, with Robert Hood’s more-disco-than-techno release on M Plant and the wonderful Skudge and Gatto Fritto remixes of Japanese producer Gonno.
Pick of the CDs for our money this week was Aardvarck’s 27-track opus on Eat Concrete – music for empty car parks in industrial estates. At the opposite end of the spectrum was L-Vis 1990’s debut album Neon Dreams, which dived head first into the realms of smart pop and boasted guest appearances from Julio Bashmore, Teki Latex and Javeon McCarthy. The aforementioned Modeselektor album also arrived in CD format, as did a previously vinyl-only compilation from on-point New York imprint Minimal Wave, both of which of course come with the prefix “essential”.