Number 003 in the Night Slugs infrequent label mix series is a typically bumping selection from Girl Unit.
The fourth volume of Night Slugs’ Club Constructions series will see more grime and techno hybrids from Helix.
James Connolly has always been one of the trickier members of the Night Slugs family to get a handle on; his discography as L-Vis 1990 over the past four years has seen him deliver translucent UK funky, an album of full on pop for Island, and raw, tracky, Dance Mania-inspired club music. It was this last category that Connolly seemed to feel most at home with, and when he followed up that first record of Club Constructions on Night Slugs with a similarly rubbery house record on Clone’s Jack For Daze it felt as if he’d finally settled down into a groove.
Carving out longevity as a label takes an exhausting amount of work these days. The path is fraught with the instantaneous uploading of your work to file-sharing sites, a flurry of plagiarizing “revisions” that are often barely glorified radio rips with a kick drum tacked on, and a crowd of internet-raised consumers imbued with the belief that they need to possess every release two months before it’s out.
This week’s two biggest records resulted in an extensive testing session of the Juno office hi-fi’s subs, and the one that arguably caused the most damage was the new record from A Made Up Sound.
London label Night Slugs will release a second All Stars compilation in February.
Record labels are the bricks and mortar of the independent music industry, the foundations upon which artists and scenes flourish and grow. During 2012 there seemed to be a glut of new labels popping up across the board, and though some made strong statements with their initial releases, our list largely acknowledges the imprints who continue to lead the way for others to follow. The people behind our top labels are individuals we – and many others – willingly place our trust in; their curatorial abilities are integral to ensuring they stand tall amidst a sea of samey musical dross.
In many cases, passion for the music these labels have released is the over-riding factor, any notion of profiting from the releases secondary to the rush of seeing it out there, pressed on wax and housed in a nicely presented sleeve. For regular readers of Juno Plus, these ten names should make perfect sense; a selection of labels whose output has made it easy for us to show our support for over the course of the last 12 months.
We’ve got a load of Night Slugs merch to give away, including vinyl test pressings, a hat and tickets to next month’s label showcase in London.
Listen to Night Slugs duo Bok Bok and Girl Unit lean through 30 minutes worth of material recorded live using strictly hardware.
If you’ve read about this year’s debut album from Jam City, you’re likely familiar with Jack Latham’s stories of how the album was inspired by a real-life stint as a corporate spy for a well known athletics brand. Dig around a bit, and you’ll hear about how he designed futuristic prototype chrome body extensions that were shelved at the last minute, or played Kevin Saunderson tracks to a group of oil barons in a mansion in the outskirts of Paris.
Jam City will complete the work he started on debut album Classical Curves with a second 12″ single and digital-only EP of club mixes and one all-new track.
I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t really care much for Jam City’s Magic Drops EP, his debut EP proper for Night Slugs. To my ears, there was something too clean about its lines, something too plastic about its textures, something fundamentally lifeless about it. Everything that made his vital refix of Endgames’ “Ecstasy”, which arrived on Night Slugs’ white label imprint in Summer 2010, so exciting – its raw, frantic string slices, scattershot drums and a bassline that referenced grime without trying to slavishly recreate it – were missing in action. Last summer’s Waterworx EP was much more alive however, ripping apart the static structure of that debut EP like a child who had built up a Lego house using the instructions and wanted to reconstruct it in his own wayward manner.
Jam City is at the controls for a mix that sets the scene for his soon to drop debut LP Classical Curves.
No tracklisting is forthcoming for the Classical Genesis mix and don’t let the gentle sounds that permeate the opening moments lull you into thinking this is an exercise in calm. The subsequent 28 minute journey is aimed at demonstrating what to expect on the album, featuring the brutal “Videodrome” from L-Vis 1990 amidst “frenzied, sweat-drenched machine muzik” on a mix described as “part mission statement, part tribute, part documentary”.
Download via Night Slugs.
While you couldn’t accuse Night Slugs of slacking in 2011, it’s clear the label was operating a few gears below the explosive speed that characterised their debut year in the game. From the scale of material due over the coming months it would seem the label are going to dominate proceedings much more in 2012.