This Week at Juno

Disco mantras from Vancouver, albums from MGUN and Dean Blunt, plus 12″s from L.I.E.S., JLin, Wah Wah Wino, SUED and Neuroshima are among our recommendations this week.

Disco Mantras – Disco Mantras Vol. 1 (Mood Hut)

“Dedicated to our freak friends across the world playing for peace in era of fear and ignorance.” A few tracks into this Disco Mantras album and the name will make complete sense. We’re yet to attempt some afternoon meditation whilst Disco Mantras Vol. 1 plays out, but the seven tracks do exhibit a calmness that fills you with an exuding inner warmth. Music to replenish the soul. With the identity of the Mood Hut artists involved seemingly under wraps, you’re left free to bask in the music itself and these seven tracks make for perfect headphone listening. Disco Mantras also acts as a chance to dig deeper into the some of the musical influences that have helped shape Mood Hut as a whole. Sly & Robbie’s production output for Island Records Bahamas outpost Compass Point Studios, Detroit Beatdown, and the psychedelic soul of Rotary Connection are just a few mental notes that made whilst listening to this album.
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33.10.3402 – Untitled (LIES)

If like us you’ve become entranced by the music of Nenad Markovic, you’ve probably looked deeper than the music he’s released as 33.10.3402 on Second Circle, ESP Institute and Kunstkopf and stumbled on his SoundCloud account. Here lies a wealth of strange sonic oddities with bizarre title names that leave us hoping there are some record labels scoping it out. There was a certain degree of expectation when we heard Ron Morelli had scored some 33.10.3402 material for L.I.E.S. and this Untitled 12” sets the bar high if further material is forthcoming on the label. Markovic’s music is both loose and rigid, falling straight on the beat but also sounding like it could break apart at any moment. That’s best displayed on “Meccanica No. 1” whose swelling chaos features what sounds like a swarm of wasps circling above. The 13 minute lead track, cunningly titled “13”, has the most satisfying drum sound on any record this week whilst “LVIV” will please fans of the Rainforest techno sound.
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Hysteric – Mappamondo EP (Public Possession)

It’s no secret that the Munich mavens at Public Possession have a soft spot for antipodean artists, as is evident from their long-standing love affair with Bell Towers. After he first appeared on the label back in 2015 on a split single with Carpentaria, Melbourne artist Hysteric gets a whole 12” to himself and proceeds to run away with the Under The Influence remit of the particular series he has been commissioned for. Where exactly these edits originate from is hard to say, but the styles veer like a car with jelly suspension, peaking early with the delicious bionic boogie of “Computer Wars”. “Belly Dance Fever” is a more exotic, organic affair before “My Man” whips the synthetic goodness back into the foreground. There’s a schlocky quality to all the tracks on offer, bordering on library music in their starkly rendered yet strangely anonymous melodic tones, and the cheeky sense of humour sits perfectly on Public Possession.
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Jlin – Free Fall (Planet Mu)

Last year everyone was in agreement that Dark Energy was one of the best albums of 2015, and since then Indiana’s finest Jerrilynn Patton has claimed the hearts of even those who wouldn’t normally lock onto footwork frequencies. In a first display of muscle since that seismic album dropped, Patton returns with this monster EP that ramps up the devilish tendencies in Dark Energy with a potent brew of rapid-fire samples to send the sanest dancefloor into a frenzy. “Eu4ria” is nothing short of terror-inducing with its unforgiving chants, while on “I Am The Queen” the angles of the drum snags begging your legs to bow and buckle in unforeseen ways. There are Mortal Kombat-baiting sounds aplenty wafting around in the cinematic stomp of “BuZilla”, and then “Nandi” gets a little more dynamic with the percussive tones, but whichever way you turn your head will be spinning from start to finish.
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MGUN – Gentium (Don’t Be Afraid)

There are a fair number of artists from Detroit who exist outside of that core cut and thrust of regularly lauded DJs and producers, gradually getting picked up by more adventurous labels if they’re lucky. Manuel Gonzalez feels like one such artist, pulled out of obscurity by The Trilogy Tapes and Don’t Be Afraid and now at this point regularly affiliated with the latter label. After a great spell of releases between 2012 and 2014, things have been a little quiet on the MGUN front, but now he returns to DBA with his debut album and it’s surely worth the wait. Gonzalez is the perfect example of how to make the simple approach sound exciting, using a rough and raw, live-sounding template of outboard gear to craft meaningful tracks that nod to the Motor City environment while telling their own captivating tale.
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Various Artists – C’est La Vii (777 Germany)

Thumbing a lift on the edge of the house and techno highway, the 777 circle of artists are the kind of musicians only the more deviant lorry drivers would stop for. There’s something of the punky Den Haag quality about the jams they concoct, all dank basement-friendly sounds with plenty of lo-fi bleeps and ramshackle grooves for the undesirables to get down to. On this double pack release you might find Leaves holding down a steady beat but the mood on “Keys” is still pretty grimy. What’s great about such an attitude in running a label is that the music is never dull, whether it’s Roger 23 splaying double-vision melodics over the top of erratic drum machines or Glyn taking a moment to reflect in the crusty ambience of “Paradise 25”. There’s diversity in abundance and freakiness around every corner; what more could you ask for from a wayward label such as this?
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Neuroshima – Rave Archive EP (All Caps)

Is it really only release number eight for All Caps? After we only got treated to the Florist 12” last year here’s hoping that there will be more in the pipeline for 2016. Either way, Bake and his fellow All Cappers are kicking off the year in fine form with the feisty styles of Neuroshima. Never before copped on wax, the lesser-spotted artist strides out with confidence, making the challenging task of original and interesting jungle break manipulation sound easy. It may be a familiar sound to aim for, but on “Headspace” Neuroshima makes the approach all their own. There is also space for experimental downtempo departures such as “Radar Wisp”, once more championing the wonderful sonics of processed funky drum loops, but really this EP stands out for those surefooted club wreckers that head up the action.
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PG Sounds, DJ Fett Burger & Dynamo Dreesen – Sued 014 (Sued)

A rite of passage for fans of the Sued label is digging around their delightfully sparse website and finding the sole entry listed on their news page: “soon, new album from mysterious artists”. As far as we can tell it has been there for several years now and there is still no sign of this intriguing album. Should we complain when Sued merrily goes about dishing out 12″ after 12″ from their pool of talented artists with the minimum of fuss? Number 14 landed this week and features the collective talents of SVN, Phillip Gelburg, DJ Fett Burger and Dynamo Dreesen spread over three reduced grooves. SVN and Gellberg’s PG Sounds project line up alongside Fett Burger on the extended A side excursion which locks into a groove and doesn’t let go, whilst Acido boss Dynamo Dreesen comes through with his first solo production in well over a year on the flip. A PG Sounds cut closes it out on a slighter slower, but no less hypnotic vibe. Strong, unique, exploratory dancers.
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Babyfather – BBF Hosted By DJ Escrow (Hyperdub)

“This makes me proud to be British.” If the Union Jack-styled mini-segway placed across a backdrop of London at night on the cover didn’t clue you to the themes explored within Dean Blunt’s latest project, then the opening track certainly will. Five minutes of that vocal sample looped over and over to backdrop of barely decipherable applause and gentle flamenco guitar, “Stealth (Intro)” grabs your attention and then puts it to the test. Somewhere between an album and a hip hop mixtape, this 23-track record features Arca and Micachu but its DJ Escrow who takes centre stage. Escrows raps over, interrupts and provides commentary throughout, whilst Blunt’s productions largely fall between hip hop and digidub – aside from one diversion into ear-bleeding white noise on “PROLIFIC DEAMONS”. It remains unclear whether DJ Escrow is a real person, or a conceptual tool for Blunt’s creativity in a manner similar to Madlib and Lord Quas; we think maybe it’s the latter. Irrespective, it’s the latest in a long line of wholly distinct albums from Dean Blunt. Album cover of the year too.
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Wah Wah Wino – Chartered/Unchartered (Wah Wah Wino)

Out of nowhere, three mysterious 12”s from the Wah Wah Wino label dropped this week, accompanied by the minimum of information. Do some digging around certain corners of the internet, and it’s likely this is the work of Rathmines lad Morgan Buckley and his talented associates. Fans of his previous output on Rush Hour Distro’s No ‘Label’ will delight in the sounds of Wah Wah Wino with plenty to enjoy across all three twelves, but it’s the last of them that’s really hit the spot at Juno Plus. Geared for the contemplative and the horizontally-inclined, “Chartered” brings back pleasant memories of digging through 2-step boogie compilations whilst veering down a luxurious 12 minute pocket of blissful instrumentation. Even longer, “Unchartered” percolates away over 15 minutes and falls somewhere between RAMP-era Max D and the dizzying turntable manipulation of Düsseldorf trio The Durian Brothers. We’re not sure if there will be any further adventures from Wah Wah Wino but these will keep us satisfied for some time.
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