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This week at Juno

More blissful archical matters courtesy of Music From Memory, edits from the Public Possession family, Actress mixing it up, modular techno Brooklyn-style, and new age grime feature among our picks this week.

Vito Ricci – I Was Crossing A Bridge (Music From Memory)

Vito Ricci - I Was Crossing A BridgeIn the buoyant field of unearthed tapes, Vito Ricci is yet another unsung hero who was delivering compelling music criminally overlooked at its time of creation. Thankfully Dutch label Music From Memory is on hand, and it’s appropriate that they would turn their attention to Ricci after naming their label after one of his albums. Previous releases have compiled work from artists such as Gigi Masin and Joan Bibiloni, and this time around they’ve delved into the archives of Ricci’s early ’80s work and put together a stunning collection that spans all kinds of moods. There are early punky beatdowns such as “Cross Court (Get It)”, melancholic musical studies such as “Commie Stories (part 5)”, captivating ambience on “Deep Felt Music” and obtuse Ekoplekz-precursors like “Inferno (Part 1)”. It’s quite remarkable how many different styles Ricci could turn his hand to, not to mention how successfully he nailed those styles. As long as the quality of rediscovered music remains this high, long may it continue.
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Various – Edit Compilation (Public Possession)

Various - Edit Compilation (Public Possession)The chaps at Public Possession have always been quick to embrace imaginative re-edits of dusted down gems through their Under The Influence series, and this time they’re drawing on a varied cast to do the business for the first ‘various artists’ release on the label. Samo DJ takes synth laden balladry and matches it with sly jungle heat on “Flyer” in a most unlikely but utterly successful blend. Bell Towers turns on the Chicagoan heat and infects his effort with mournful sweeps of pad in the emotionally devastating “Obsession”, while Tamas Jones gets a more angular kind of robo-funk dropping on “The Heat Of The Moment”. That leaves it to label top dogs Tambien to get heavy on the bongos for the simmering “Deep Hai”, rounding off an eclectic and party-starting salvo of crafty revisions.
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Mark Fell & Gábor Lázár – The Neurobiology Of Moral Decision Making (The Death Of Rave)

Mark Fell & Gabor Lazar - The Neurobiology Of Moral Decision Making (The Death Of Rave)You can always count on Mark Fell to be involved in a project at the cutting edge of electronic music conventions. The man’s time spent in .snd alone are worthy of high praise, let alone his recent avant-dancefloor excursions as Sensate Focus, solo work and collaborations with DJ Sprinkles. Here he teams up with Gábor Lázár, who has previously been found alongside Russell Haswell for a split tape on Last Foundation and a solo EP on Death Of Rave, who present this startling double pack vinyl release. The glossy digital tones should be familiar to any fans of Fell, moving with the production sheen that has always accompanied his work. Rhythmically The Neurobiology Of Moral Decision Making pulls no punches, letting stuttering configurations make a mockery of standard templates with a stop-start effect that can’t fail to make your head spin in the most wonderful way.
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33 10 3402 – Mecanica III (ESP Institute)

Mecanica IIILovefingers has a track record in label curation that’s hard to find fault with, guiding ESP Institute from one distinctive machine jam to the next without repeating a trick or making a duff move. Following on from the Mark E 12” Emergency, the next round of out-there grooves to be found on the label are coming from Nenad Markovic, who reprises the Mecanica series after delivering the first two parts in 2013 and 2014 respectively. As well as Mecanica III, Markovic has also dropped the fourth installment in the series simultaneously, each disc showing different sides to his musical personality. Mecanica III just pips it thanks to the rugged, drum led focus of “Slow Port”, championing well-managed distortion and dense machinations that truly feel like being trapped inside a complex system of cogs and pistons. It’s not all aggressive though, as beautiful ambient closer “Elika” demonstrates.
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The Persuader – Skargard (Templar)

The Persuader - Skargard (Templar)Jesper Dahlback has had many different lives within techno, dealing in different shades of stout Scandinavian grooves, but it was always his work as The Persuader that drew the most praise, not least the seminal track “What Is The Time Mr Templar?” He’s clearly aware of this, seeing as the project has been recently revived on a new label called Templar, and after three EPs this full-length album drops with an amused chap checking his watch on the sleeve. Fun self-referential digs aside, the music on Skargard is as strong as any Persuader material you care to mention, diving headlong into deep techno territory and the odd ambient excursion. Equal parts mystery and suspense, the sound of tracks such as “Pinnharan” gets under the skin with a timeless quality that should see this record getting just as much praise as any of the classic Dahlback material.
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Stanislav Tolkachev – All Night Vigil (M_Rec LTD Grey Series)

Stanislav Tolkachev - All Night VigilThe sonic identity Stanislav Tolkachev has created for himself is a curious beast that stands aside from most techno progenitors in these times, sporting a greater affinity for the early wonky techno forefathers such as Neil Landstrumm and Cristian Vogel. Prolifically moving from label to label throughout his career, the Ukranian producer has returned for a second bout on M_REC that sees him continue his path into the freaky hinterland of unhinged techno. Opening track “Vitamin K” actually does away with drums in favour of a lurid array of bleeping melodies that slip in and out of dissonance, but it still feels like a smooth entry compared to the snarling lunge of distorted synth lines that snake their way through “That’s Where The Dog Is Buried”. “All Night Vigil” combines the spirit of both previous tracks with its jackhammer drums and delirious tones; a theme continued on “The Chance For Both Of Us” albeit with a little more harmonious consistency.
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Antenes – LIES 026 5 (L.I.E.S.)

Antenes - LIES 026 5Brooklyn-dweller Antenes may be new on the scene in terms of physical releases, but she has been working away for more than ten years as a modular synth builder and DJ of note both in her native Chicago and adopted NYC. This release for the L.I.E.S. white label series should firmly place her on the map, and with good reason. All three tracks sport the kind of adventurous machine tinkering we would expect from Morelli’s manor, without losing sight of the dancefloor thump where it counts. “The Track Of A Storm” has a brooding, restrained quality shaped out by vaporous swells of synth noise, while “Fire Rises” smacks hard with jagged drum lines arranged into deadly broken configurations. “St. Antoine” is certainly the most experimental track of the bunch, but there’s still an electro funk burrowing away its centre.
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Actress – DJ Kicks (!K7)

Actress - DJ Kicks (!K7)The esteemed DJ Kicks series has never slowed up in choosing the most intriguing musical characters to curate a more esoteric kind of compilation, and you can be sure of very little when it’s Darren Cunningham at the controls. As you might expect there is a wild card quality to the tracks that form the Actress entry into the hallowed mix series, whether it be the rippling synth patterns of Lorenzo Senni’s “Elegant & Never Tiring” or the sludgy devastation of Simbosi’s “Impari”, while there’s also space for accessible beauty as well. John Beltran’s “Anticipation” hops along with pastoral charm, while Chez N Trent’s Windy City Dub of “The Choice” never tires in its breezy feel good attitude. Few can straddle the surreal and satisfying like Cunningham, and it’s no more apparent than on this compilation.
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Terron – Whities 003 (Whities)

Terron - Whities 003Having previously kicked off Nic Tasker’s Whities label last year, Terron return for the third installment on the label after Kowton laid waste to all and sundry with “Glock & Roll”. The tracks on offer are just as intriguing this time around, dealing in the kind of stealthy fare that you might expect to hear sneaking out of Kassem Mosse’s studio. “No 29 Pareto 20/80” keeps the beat straight and builds the track up steadily to let the expressive synth lines do the talking over subtle threads of dub techno chords. On the flip “No 33.2 Hawk (Part 1)” has another ear-snagging set of echoing melodic tones that linger in the air with a healthy amount of mystery in tow, while “No 34 Dove (Part II)” finds itself dealing in further reams of dystopian romanticism strapped to unfussy machine beats.
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Deadboy – White Magick (Local Action)

Deadboy - White MagickAfter a string of releases for Numbers, the intermittently active Deadboy makes a welcome return with some plush, emotive tones for Local Action that show him to be in a thoughtful mood, not least on this EP’s opener “White Moon Garden”. Cascading, glossy synth lines are the order of the day, with a strong dose of magic and mystery woven in for good measure. “Inner Palace” makes a bold move into helium vocal pop tones draped over fantasy keys and carefully deployed low end. “Rye Angel” meanwhile melts Burial-tones down to a hushed murmur and “Sad Sniper” equally calls out a spacious lament peppered with momentary flurries of rhythm. “Copwar” shakes things up with a more energised construction that keeps the synths intact but works a greater sense of urgency into the drum lines, before “I Will Let His Ocean flow Through Me” lets the EP drift out in a blissful daze of ambient pads and fractured beats.
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