This week at Juno

Records from Peaking Lights, Bruce, Lukid and more made for a varied week of vinyl highlights.

Bruce – Just Getting Started (Dnuos Ytivil)

bruce-started-200With a name to rival Joe (43) for the UK underground’s least Googleable producer, Bruce finally makes his debut on Livity Sound’s Dnuos Ytivil label after popping up on the tracklistings for several radio shows and podcasts throughout the summer. If you’ve been enjoyed the Dnuos Ytivil output so far you’ll find yourself in good company here – the title track is a swung drum jam par excellence, keeping itself on just the right side of crunchy with a pleasingly elastic bit of bounce. The syncopated “Tilikum” meanwhile moves from deep to playful in one fell swoop, coming across as something like the Bristol techno sound mixed with some Sex Tags weirdness.
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Peaking Lights – Cosmic Logic (Weird World)

cosmic-logic-200While we’ve been enjoying the various solo records to come from Aaron Coyes on Rush Hour’s No ‘Label’ imprint over the past year, the chance to hear another Peaking Lights album recorded together with Indra Dunis is most welcome. Cosmic Logic is the duo’s sixth album, and was recorded over the course of 18 months at the duo’s newly built studio in Los Angeles. As with previous Peaking Lights albums, the influences are plentiful, with Jamaican digital dancehall, Italo, Chicago house, Afrobeat, early west coast hip-hop and disco boogie among the genres cited by the label when describing Cosmic Logic. Arriving at the same time as Caribou’s Our Love, there’s the chance Cosmic Logic might go under the radar, but those with more intrepid ears should give this album a spin.
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JTC – Escalator To Sorga (Bopside)

sorga-200The prolific man of many aliases Tadd Mullinix is a firm favourite here at Juno Plus, with his wave-focused Charles Manier project and the inventive house trax of his JTC moniker vying for top spot in our collective affections. It’s the latter that provides the focus on Escalator To Sorga, the first release to come from Mullinix’s brand new Bopside label. Judging by these three tracks, it sounds like he’s been holding back his best material for the occasion too; the deep Detroit groove of the title track, old school house of “Infinite Organism” and verging on dub techno sound of “Veronja One” all show why Mullinix is one of the USA’s most underrated producers.
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Second Storey – Double Divide (Houndstooth)

double-divide-200Having produced under the Al Tourettes moniker since 2006, last year saw Alec Storey join the Houndstooth label, using the opportunity to change his name to Second Storey. The name change also brought with it a slight change in sound, broadening out his electro-influenced sound with some cinematic flourishes. His debut album Double Divide gives him the opportunity to explore his unique aesthetic across 10 tracks somewhere between bass, techno and ambient music, and much like Call Super’s debut album released on Houndstooth last month, it’s an album that’s almost impossible to describe, let alone pigeonhole.
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Lukid – Crawlers (Liberation Technologies)

crawlers-200It’s been nearly two years since we heard fresh material from Lukid, so it’s particularly exciting to see him deliver this four-track EP for Mute’s Liberation Technologies imprint. If anything, it’s a darker, rawer set of tracks than anything on his last album Lonely At The Top, with a dancefloor focus that will go down well with fans of his Glum releases a few years ago. However, the rhythms in question are broken, stumbling and scuffed; on “Nine” they’re accompanied by a sinister melody, on “Born In Bosnia” they form a grimy shuffle and on “The Brick Burner” they are contrasted with chords that shine like a grubby window. In short, brilliant.
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Sote – Architectonic (Morphine)

architectonicRabih Beaini’s Morphine label continues to confound expectations with its latest release, an album from Iran-based producer Sote. An artist who has been producing since the ‘90s with releases on labels including Warp, Digitalis and Sub Rosa, Sote’s current direction sees him exploring FM, physical modelling and additive synthesis in a modular environment. What this roughly translates to in terms of music is a fairly wild collection of polyrhythmic tracks made up of atonal bleeps and acidic synth lines, each attempting to induce their own trance-like state. If you’re a fan of Philadelphia duo Metasplice’s brain-mashing electronics that have been explored on Morphine recently, Architectonic is highly recommended.
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Webstarr – Aegrus (Mistry)

aegrus-200Having launched the Mistry label with a killer plate from Alex Coulton back in July, label boss Beneath presents its second release, this time from unheralded producer Webstarr. There’s pretty much zero information out there on Webstarr beyond him being a Hull native, but like that of Beneath, the music more than speaks for itself. Brandishing a style that could perhaps be best described as “threadbare techno”, the two originals sound like a skeletal take on the UK-centric bass-techno sound Beneath seems to be exploring. “Aegrus” sees clockwork percussion, abstract tones and deep subs combine while “Clocked” offers a more sinister blend of tense Carpenter-esque synths and rolling beats. Given his similarly stripped-back style, Chevel is an inspired choice of remixer.
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Stéphane Laporte – Fourrure Sounds (Antinote)

fourrure-sounds-200Antinote is quietly having an absolutely brilliant year, delivering an album of sepia-toned house from DK amongst cosmic experiments from Nico Motte and psychedelic pop from Syracuse. Fourrure Sounds sees the label continue its diverse path with an album from Stéphane Laporte, a French musician who has largely worked under the Domotic guise. Fourrure Sounds is the result of Laporte’s night time recordings with an array of vintage synth gear, a four-track Akai tape recorder and a “cosy fur carpet”; as such, the set is steeped in a kind of warm, sleepy type of melacholy, with each track sounding like it could have been plucked from an archive of library music from the 1970s.
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TM404 – Skudge White 08 (Skudge)

tm404-skudge-200Andreas Tilliander has been pumping out records at a considerable rate recently, with the recent debut of his Svaag alias on Semantica a notable highlight. Here he digs out his collection of vintage hardware and returns to the TM404 moniker for three tracks on Skudge White, cranking up the pressure for some of the project’s most dance floor-focused material to date. If the pulsating acid ripples of “Bloka 2600” and “Ununge” are a little too hectic, then “Sebende” is a blissful return to the drifting dub techno Tilliander explored on the TM404 album for Kontra-Musik last year.
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Guyer’s Connection – Portrait (Minimal Wave)

portrait-200Minimal Wave’s latest archival project sees the label look to Basel-based duo Guyer’s Connection’s debut album. Formed in 1982 by Swiss teenagers Tibor Csébits and Philippe Alioth, the project saw them moving away from their previous experience in new wave act Kurtzschluss to create stripped-back synth pop with two synths, a drum machine, and a four-track tape recorder. The results aren’t too unlike a less straight-laced version of Kraftwerk, with the duo’s humorous approaching marking them out. Originally released in 1983 and reissued here for the first time, Portrait is – as ever – another essential Minimal Wave release.
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Panthera Krause – Rules (Lobster Theremin)

rules-200London’s Lobster Theremin has had a pretty great run of form this year, chalking up releases from Imre Kiss, Manse, Palms Trax, Rawaat and many more. This release from Leipzig producer Panthera Krause sees the label dip their toes into something a little different from the weighty techno and lo-fi house they’ve become known for, with three tracks of the kind of sleek emotive house you might expect to hear on Smallville or Uncanny Valley. It even sounds like there’s a bit of a hip hop influence audible throughout the lively rhythms. Not only is this a great record in its own right, but it’s an excuse to hunt out the producer’s debut for Riotvan last year.
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