This week at Juno

Records from Gesloten Cirkel, Fatima Al Qadiri, Ital & Halal, FaltyDL and L.I.E.S were among the week’s best.

If you’ve been reading our regular This Week at Juno column for as long as we’ve been writing it, then you’ll probably be surprised to be confronted with a very different format than you’re used to this week.  Originally a chance for us to pick out the best or most unusual records to have come into the Juno warehouse over the past seven days, it has since swelled from a manageable few paragraphs to a size that was becoming difficult for us to write without packing too much in, and probably equally as difficult for our readers to digest. In the interests of keeping things simple (and halting a rapidly advancing nervous breakdown for certain members of the editorial team) we’ve elected to completely change the format, picking out no more than ten of the most notable records per week and giving them each a bit more individual attention. This won’t mean any change in the kind of stuff picked out – in fact we’d hope it encourages us to be even stricter when it comes to quality control.

Gesloten Cirkel – Submit X (Murder Capital)

Submit XIf there’s one record we can collectively agree on being an essential purchase this week, it’s Submit X, the debut album from enigmatic producer Gesloten Cirkel. Supposedly from Russia, the producer’s sound is planted firmly in the dank squat party electro of The Hague, something particularly eveident across the 12 tracks here, though tracks like “Stakan” feature a surprising minimal wave influence that hints at talents we’ve yet to witness from the producer.
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Fatima Al Qadiri – Asiatisch (Hyperdub)

AsiatischClosely following Submit X was the latest long-player from the Hyperdub stable. Although the label is celebrating its tenth birthday this year with a series of compialtions, the signing of Fatima Al Qadiri is something to be even more excited about, with her individual take on grime displayed across labels like UNO and Fade To Mind highlighting her as a unique talent. On her debut album Asiatisch, she explores an “imagined China”, bringing out grime’s more eastern influences in a beguiling manner. It’s also probably the only time you’ll hear a Sinead O’Connor cover on a Hyperdub record.
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Falty DL – Power (Swamp81)

PowerFaltyDL’s previous two singles for Swamp81 have provided some of the producer’s finest work, with both parts of the Mean Streets saga now fetching a tidy sum on Discogs. This week he made his return to Loefah’s label with the two-track Power, and it’s every bit as good as those previous singles. Both tracks offer a different side to his personality; the broken-beat rhythms of “Huff & Puff Bruk” are underpinned by a punchy analogue bassline and some breezy jazz samples reflecting the streets of NYC, while “Mo” takes some sharply looped vocals and throws into a whirlwind of drums that sound like Lustman doing jungle in his own unique way. Very, very good stuff indeed.
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Ital & Halal – The Day After (Lovers Rock)

The Day AfterItal’s Lovers Rock label has really started to come into its own over the past six months, with killer singles from the man himself, Earthen Sea and now this collaboration with Mutual Dreaming’s Aurora Halal. While both individually make dance music that is psychedelic, driving, and with glints of light shining out of the darkness, The Day After is a combination of Ital’s more brittle elements and Halal’s deeper, stranger textures. “Phase 2” is a more delicate track, its pads swelling up in a nebulous haze, while “The Thirst” is like a more psychedelic take on Robert Hood’s loop techno. There are countless producers making strange takes on house and techno mining the influence of Detroit for inspiration, but none are doing it as respectfully and with as much originality as Ital & Halal.
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Inhalants – Inhalants (L.I.E.S.)

InhalantsInhalants are another NYC-based collaboration from the underground, but one with a quite different tone from Ital & Halal. Comprised of psychedelic synth explorer Jahillyah Fields and lo-fi house producer Patricia, who recently impressed with the excellent Body Issues cassette on Opal Tapes, the suggistively named Inhalants project offers the pair a chance to indulge in some particularly queasy freeform techno jams. “Inhalants” hints at Teutonic styles but with a much darker edge, the squeaky clatter of “No Hats” comes across like Container covering Geeeman’s “Rubberband2”, and the bleep-centric techno of “There Are Cops Around” sounds like it was made by a paranoid Jeff Mills. For fans of the L.I.E.S. sound, it doesn’t get much better than this.
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Xenogears – Lost Artemis (Restoration)

Lost ArtemisBefore The Analogue Cops, Lucretio and Marieu went under the name Xenogears. It was under this name that the duo inaugurated their Restoration imprint back in 2007, and since then, the pair have become synonymous with the idea of rugged, analogue-only techno, recorded straight to tape. It’s not particularly clear what differentiates the Xenogears alias, but it always felt faster and looser, and that’s the approach across the eight-track Lost Artemis, which manages to infuse their rough sound with a hint of futuristic optimism.
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West Norwood Cassette Library – Missing You (WNCL Recordings)

WNCLOn listening to Missing You it seems impossible to think that this is the work of the same producer that once made tracks that could be considered dubstep. Of course WNCL isn’t just another house music bandwagon jumper – his sound has been edging closer to house for years. Still, the four tracks on offer here are some of the most straightforward party starters he’s made. With each track backed by a chunky, rolling house beat, he works swooning disco hooks and smooth Rhodes notes in amongst “What’s That Sound?”, which provides a soulful twist on perennial hippie anthem “For What It’s Worth”. Easily the pick of this week’s house records.
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Muslimgauze – Chasing The Shadow Of Bryn Jones 1983-1988 (Vinyl On Demand)

MuslimgauzeWe’ve seen some bespoke reissue sets in our time, but it’s unlikely anything else this year will top Vinyl On Demand’s Chasing The Shadow Of Bryn Jones 1983-1988, a 10 LP box set collecting much of the most essential output from Bryn Jones’ early career. At £230, it may be a little out of the price range of all but the most hardened fans, but for those wanting to further explore Jones’ psychedelic dub and industrial experiments, this is the best document currently available.
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Percussions/Taraval – KHLHI/SextAscii Bot/Blatant Water Cannon, Streetways EP (Text)

StreetwaysFour Tet evidently isn’t doing anything by halves these days, putting out three records on his Text label on one day. Some may remember a record slipping out on the label from the anonymous Percussions a few years back, now it seems as if the moniker is indeed, as rumoured, Hebden himself. Those who find themselves drawn to Hebden’s more driving club fare will love these two 12″s, all mushy chords, euphoric synth lines and big room-friendly vocal sampling that steer clear of unnecessary melodic noodling. The third 12″ comes from a new name in the form of Taraval, whose Streetways EP makes for a logical addition to the Text discography. Having said that there’s something particularly fierce about these tracks that set them apart. Imagine Caribou collaborating with Floorplan and you’re some way to understanding Taraval’s combination of analogue psychedelia and larger than life combination of techno loops and reverential melody.
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Various Artists – Happy Machine: Standard Music Library 1970 – 2010 (Public Information)

Happy MachineThose who have been following the consistently impressive Public Information will know that the label is no stranger to the world of library music, having released the excellent Tomorrow’s Achievements: Parry Music Library 1976-86 back in 2012. Having taken a detour through more dancefloor-friendly fare, the label’s latest project looks at library music once again, but this time collecting highlights from UK library music institution Standard Music on Happy Machine: Standard Music Library 1970​-​2010. Described by the label as a journey from ”desolate Radiophonic ambient, to cute bleep-idents, to stark contemporary drone to jagged electronic scorch” via “moments of square-Italo groove, freaky electroid-psych and early ’70s Beat,” it has enough variety to satisfy the most rabid of library music diggers.
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Leave a reply

  1. Wavatar Nuno Valle says:

    Cool new layout!

  2. Wavatar Umberto Echo says:

    Liking the new TWAJ layout. I always vibe insanely hard off FaltyDL’s records for Swamp81.