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06 May 13
Review: Returning to Nicolas Jaar's Clown And Sunset stable after his debut in 2011, Valentin Stip is delving into more of his folky electronica with excellent results. "Wit(z)" floats suspended in a murk of melancholic elements before a more discernable rhythm cuts through to bring the track into focus. "Hiathaikm" is a more low-slung affair that revels in mournful keys and a delicate beat, while "Angst" is a bold study of reverbs and the vocals that fuel them. Across the whole release, introspection is the driving force, reaching for a rich spread of instrumentation and sound sources through which to weave a sad but engaging tale.
07 May 13
Review: It's another meeting of different Italian disco generations as cosmic disco veteran Daniele Baldelli and young(ish) hotshot Marco Dionigi team up for another joint EP. "Cosmic Efficacy" is a linear arpeggiated electro-disco journey to the stars, complete with electro-housey drum fills. In its "Slow Motion Remix" guise the tune is even spacier and highlights it's Moroder-isms even more. "Parallelo" on the other hand is much more abstract, with retro films samples woven over a coarse, electronic backdrop that resembles distorted cosmic interference. Far out!
24 Apr 13
Review: Zero confirms what this writer had long thought about Subjected: he inhabits a world where darkness reigns. Indeed, the tone on Zero is predominantly bleak; from the white noise of "M" and the slowed down, scraping rhythm of "Vx800" to the hammering drums and slamming rhythm of "Tool 1", the wild analogue yelps of "SD 1" and the searing bass and stepping rhythm of "Vault 101", the album is not designed to chill out at home to. But that doesn't mean it is throwaway or disposable, and alone the epic chord builds and sheet metal percussion of "Concept 3" is more powerful than a warehouse full of drone albums.
13 May 13
Review: Making for a matching with hard-to-imagine results, Mala gets the remix treatment from James Blake in his Harmonimix guise and issues it forth on his own Deep Medi imprint. It's a bold treatment from Blake, who teases the track to life on a twee arrangement of music box chimes and tones, while a central vocal coos out the dominant melody. There's a mid-section with the only discernible slither of beat which sounds like familiar Blake territory, not least through the bluesy keys vibe that it carries. However, it's the monolithic brass-aping clarion call which comes steaming in to steal the show, trumping out its orders in a suitably epic fashion which is nothing if not rousing.
25 Mar 13
Review: After stellar contributions to the series from Bakey USTL and Vakula, Unthank swings back into action with a release from a producer much closer to their Edinburgh home, Lord Of The Isles. This Scottish producer has already graced some fine imprints such as Tusk Wax, Ene and American Standard with his music, while perhaps reserving the best so far to the excellent Hot Blobs EP released on his own Little Strong label. His contribution to the still fledgling Unthank canon improves on that release however, arriving in typically attractive cover art and described as "a journey of whiskey, analogue electronics, Scottish landscapes, nostalgia and underground parties". Musically the five tracks peak and dip between the differing emotions inherent in house music and sound as good as anything Firecracker have released to date.
30 Apr 13
Review: The ever-interesting Eddie Ruscha returns with a new Secret Circuit full-length, the first on Tim Sweeney's excellent Beats In Space imprint. Given the usually vivid style of his psychedelic electronica, it's no surprise to find that Tactile Galactics is a mesmerizing trip from start to finish. Ruscha darts between kaleidoscopic space disco, wide-eyed shoegaze house, analogue psychedelia, touchy-feely ambience and intense, druggy Italo, somehow shoehorning 25 years of musical misadventure into 70 spellbinding minutes. It's bold, melodic, hypnotic, beautiful, blissful, intense, inspiring and exciting. Put simply, Tactile Galactics is a great album.
02 Apr 13
Review: Stepping up to Dublin's bastion of beats, Anno Stamm is a fresh name by all accounts, although it's hardly surprising to discover that in fact it's 50 Weapons regular Anstam stretching his moniker out for a cheeky excursion further west in Europe. There's still a recognisable complexity to the ingredients Lars Stowe pours into his tracks, as alien melodies and unidentified beat sources bubble away in a thoroughly singular broth, and so the FragmentsA record follows on neatly from the likes of Dispel Dances. If anything has changed for this outing, opening track "I Still Have The Photographs" is slightly more pared down in its amount of elements, but then the hustling drums and twitchy melodies of "Purple Clouds" put paid to that notion. Indeed "A Triangular Patch Of Lip" is equally irreverent, summoning up Italo daemons and electro wraiths for the most discernible floor burner on this record.
06 May 13
Review: Whilst it might seem initially surprising that Actress has contributed these remixes for the new Jack For Daze release, Danny 'Legowelt' Wolfers has spoken widely about his admiration for Actress; calling his work "futuristic and advanced", it makes perfect sense that Clone should now extend an invitation to the Werkdiscs boss to remix material from Legowelt's recent album The Paranormal Soul. Actress has offered up two versions of "Elementz Of Houz Music," a track that perfectly encapsulates Legowelt's mastery of melodic, part-mysterious, part-cheesy synth lines. The first remix has Cunningham shuttling Legowelt's arrangement through a cloudy car wash of hissy mist, chopping up the original into his trademark cubist techno; this dovetails nicely with his second 12 minute offering. Markedly more drastic, this offering slows down the synths, kicks and percussion to a drunken stupor, with the results not unlike playing a 45rpm record incorrectly at 33rpm.
26 Mar 13
Played by: Kid Who
Review: Stones Throw welcome new artist The Cyclist, and with him, a new and edgier type of electronics. "Feel Beauty" opens things up in shuffle mode, bridging together a house tempo with warm and luscious strings, off-kilter beats and airy atmospherics. The rest of the LP unfolds into an even deeper, more mesmeric medley of tones and influences, ranging from the bleepy, Omar-S style beats of "Bones In Motion", going to the more industrial extravagance of "The March", or the sloppy beat layout of "Black Train" - true heads-down mentalism! Its fifteen tracks are just spilling with magnificence from every angle; a great signing form an ever-impressive label that can do no wrong - highly recommended.
29 Apr 13
Played by: Cosby (Car Crash Set)
Review: Inspired by some time spent in Shanghai, the Hyperdub main man makes a long-awaited return with this no-messing two tracker that sees him venturing into ever more curious realms of rhythmic abstraction. "Xingfu Lu" shudders on a trap-like framework, sparse but heavy hitting all in the same breath. The melodies sport that oddly comforting sense of otherworldliness that has always characterised Steve Goodman's musicality even as the groove playfully fits and starts. "Kan" is a more feisty proposition, moving erratically between different motifs and getting even twitchier in the drums department while found sounds slip in between the miniscule cracks between the hats and snares. It's a bewildering effect that suggests interesting pastures new are in sight for Kode 9.
02 Apr 13
02 Apr 13
Review: After rising to the surface in a cloying murk of synth pop rendered through sonic anti-matter for the Not Not Fun stable, Maria Minerva has made quite the dent in the world of electronic singer songwriters. This latest EP for 100% Silk sees her production approach taking another step towards the light, shearing away the self-conscious mask of distortion and noise and letting her vocals, her melodies and her simple drum machine beats shine through as though all the dirt of old had been fastidiously scrubbed away. That's not to say it's removed that homespun sparkle that defines Minerva's approach, far from it. The looping alchemy of "Space 4 U" takes on a thoroughly spiritual bent as her vocals come feeding back into the mix, while "Symbol Of My Pleasure (Form Of My Pain)" shuffles with the loose-limbed funk of no wave. It's just that now, her ideas come radiating through the speakers instead of awkwardly mumbling.
13 May 13
Review: The ultra-magnetic, ultra-talented trio, Factory Floor, team up with Peter Gordon for their second release on the sublime Optimo Music. Gordon is one of those guys who can play just about anything and "Beachcombing" is one of those sultry synth rides that'll leave your brain melted on the side of the subwoofer - aided herein by the additional contributions of Gabriel Gurnsey and Nik Kolk Void - now that's a package! The ride is majestic as it is dark and mysterious, with waves of polyphony wrapped all over its ominous and crumbling arrangement - a marvel! "C Side" features Dominic Butler and takes a slightly lighter approach to things, combining a crooked half-step slant to more cheery pastures - a field of sax melodies and cascading synth bleeps! CHECK!
22 Apr 13
08 Apr 13
Review: Whittaker has played an integral role in Modern Love's rise over the past decade, initially as part of Pendle Coven, Whittaker has moved on to produce solo as MLZ and HATE before working with Andy Stott as Millie & Andrea; in recent years he's been most notable for more experimental fare with his work as one half of hauntological duo Demdike Stare with Sean Canty. His debut solo album, entitled Faint Hearted - released simply under his first name, Miles - looks to be an encapsulation of his wide ranging tastes as a DJ and producer, and is described by the label as "an exposition of Miles' love of electronic music in all its shapes, harnessing his fidgety production style into one expansive, restless set of tracks". "Lebensform" is described as a "looped jungle mutation" while "Sense Data" supposedly comes across like "a lost Move D production from the classic Studio Pankow era"; some decidedly avant-garde material also features in the form of "Archaic Thought Pattern I" which apparently sounds like "Aphex Twin's Donkey Rhubarb EP rebuilt by Mika Vainio". A bracing encapsulation of one the UK's most interesting electronic artists.
15 Apr 13
Review: Flood Tide Rising sees ASC returns to the Space Cadets label in style for a second release, coaxing the London label deeper into the drum & bass ether with three absorbing examples of his trademark futurism. Commencing with the title track, ASC sets a foreboding tone of droning electronic pulses and swirling ghostly voices trapped deep beneath. Alongside it "Outflow" is an example of ASC's talent for sonically exploring vast cavernous soundscapes, whilst the releases finishes with the fidgeting dystopian machine funk of "Dream of the Future".
01 Apr 13
Review: The Sign Of Four was a famous Sherlock Holmes mystery, and although we don't know if this shady act was referencing it, it would take some Sherlock-style supersleuthing to find out more. That's because when sourcing new vintage releases, in the words of DJ Fryer, at Jazzman they always dig deeper! "Jumping Beans" is a bonkers distress signal from from outer space, beamed straight into a 1960s recording studio helmed by Miles Newbold. Meanwhile "Samba Electronico" is a more down to earth - but still frenzied - retro Latin jazz workout!
17 May 13
10 May 13
17 May 13
20 Apr 13
29 Mar 13
Played by: Cloned In Vatican!
29 Apr 13
15 Apr 13
Review: Appearing with increasing and ever-satisfying regularity on the far reaches of the electronic music radar, Mark Fell's Sensate Focus project returns for the cryptically numbered Sensate Focus 2, marking the fifth release in the series for his eponymous label. The rules (if you can call them that) are much the same, plotting algorhythmic malfunctions through neon soul and finely diced percussion that snaps and whips with dexterity. However on first impressions much of the rhythmic irregularity that has made mixing earlier instalments a daunting task has been preserved for the lopsided vocal triggering, while the core groove itself comes on more tangible, at least for significant chunks of the roaming sides of this record.
27 Mar 13
13 May 13
Played by: Tom (Shur-I-Kan) Szirtes
19 Apr 13
Played by: Dub Gabriel
06 May 13
03 May 13
13 May 13
Review: Some two years after his last LP, Bibio is back with Warp unfurling more of his tape-warped wisdom for those more reflective moments in your life. It's a mellow affair at nearly every turn, from the distant shoegaze malaise of "Dye The Water Green" to the purposefully MOR folk of "Raincoat", but there's still some cheeky fun to be had in between the more introverted spells on Silver Wilkinson. For example "You" gets busy with radio-busting vocal and orchestral snippets with an end result that feels compatible with the more imaginative corners of mainstream hip hop and R&B production. Really though, listening to Bibio is all about getting wrapped up in the pastoral dreamworld he inhabits, where songs can be songs, singers can be singers and sound sources can come from anywhere.
05 Apr 13
Review: For their next trick, classic cult label Honest Jon's serve up a collection of field recordings of the Mijikenda tribes, made in different spots in and around Mukunguni village, coastal Kenya. There's 14 in total, and it proves a fascinating listen: first track, the creepily percussive "Ndema" is played to sound like a bat, with shrill frequencies intended to heal the village sick, the chant of "Dena" is haunting, "Matatizo" is fantastic acapella pop, while elsewhere multi drums are utilised to chase away "Pepo Mlume", the devil who poisons the imagination. Essential listening.
06 May 13
Review: Future Fusion is the killer debut set from Streetwalker, the collaborative project of White Car's Elon Katz and Beau Wanzer of Mutant Beat Dance/LIES fame. The DIY ethos of primitive Chicago house seeps into the pair's work as Streetwalker, with the material that forms Future Fusion recorded live in one take. This was subsequently recorded without any overdubs or MIDI to one inch tape, with the resultant six tracks resonating with a loose, primal energy. Sitting uneasily between house, industrial, synth-pop and EBM, Future Fusion is one of those records that you simply cannot second guess. This being a Cititrax release, the presentation is second to none too, with some superb illustration work from the well respected graphic artists Spencer Longo, but in truth the music should be the real focus of attention here.
22 Apr 13
07 May 13
15 Apr 13
Review: London producer Kelpe has built himself a reputation for heavily textured slant on instrumental beats, first surfacing on DC Recordings and releasing three LPs and numerous singles through the iconic label run by J Saul Kane. More recently found impressing for the likes of Black Acre and Svetlana Industries, Kelpe signals a sea change with the launch of DRUT Records, his own label through which he will release a new album, cannily titled Fourth: The Golden Eagle later this summer. DRUT opts for a soft launch with this three track Answered EP which sets the tone nicely for Kelpe's new LP and arrives just as the first rays of spring sunshine beam through the Juno office. Listen to the title track and it's no mere coincidence, a breezy beataholic's delight that feels like fidgety, unstable cousin to FaltyDL's recent ubiquitous number "Straight & Arrow".
20 May 13
Played by: Posthuman
Review: Andrea Parker's Touching Bass is back! And for its comeback release they present Luke Walker's Quinoline Yellow. Experimental, entertaining and full of character, at points he sounds like Squarepusher underwater ("The Recital Of Dolwen Fields"). At others he comes across more like Radioactiveman on sedatives ("Congregation"). Other headbendingly delightful highlights come in the form of the church-acid of "Argon Of August" and the menacing, slo-mo stomp of "Dinas Hide". An ace return for a consistently forward-thinking label. More please!
FT EP 010
13 Apr 13
15 Apr 13
26 Apr 13
Review: This latest album by Bpitch Control boss Allien is a long way from the label's minimal, sometimes trancey roots. It sounds like the author has grown up musically, and LISm flows through a series of mood pieces. Although this special edition divides the whole 45 minute piece into discrete chunks, this writer listened to the work as one continuous track, and this is how it works best. Beginning with what could be the sound of demented monkeys wittering away, it moves into jangly guitars and blissed out vocals, before a series of isolationist bleeps kick in. From there it moves from late night jazzy sax, dense drones before kicking back into deep, ethereal electronics. It's a major artistic triumph for Allien.
12 Apr 13