Review: Last year Tsuba Records and Isle of Jura founder Kevin Griffiths returned to the studio, eschewing his house and techno past to create deliciously warm, Balearic-minded grooves under the Jura Soundsystem alias. It was, it seems, a smart move, because the music contained on "Monster Skies", his first ever full-length, is undoubtedly the best he's made to date. Warm, humid and wonderfully horizontal, the album sees him fuse a variety of influences - most notably dub, turn-of-the-'90s ambient house, Italian dream house, new age, synth-boogie and those hard-to-define mid 1980s cuts that turn up on Music From Memory compilations - in a myriad of colourful, saucer-eyed ways. The results are uniformly superb, making "Monster Skies" a superb, must-check set.
Review: Hot on the heels of recent Isle Of Jura label compilation 'Tales Of Jura' comes a new six-track EP from label boss Jura Soundsystem AKA Kevin Griffiths himself. Griffiths cites "dub, ambient house, leftfield disco and Balearica" as influences - a contention that's readily borne out by the grooves contained herein, with the first two tracks getting things going in a dubby kinda vein before more electronic influences start to hold sway. 'Wonder Drops' is a particular stand-out, coming on like slowed-down Chi-town house heard through a sunshine haze, while 'With You' will please the leftfield/downtempo spinners and 'Movement' could find its way into progressive or minimal sets.
Review: Having excelled via a series of mind-blowing reissues, the Isle of Jura label has given birth to a new offshoot focusing on fresh material, Temple of Jura. The sub-label's debut EP is a notably dub-wise affair, featuring killer cuts from Melbourne man Len Leise and Adelaide-based overlords Jura Soundsystem. Liese's picturesque and breezy "Dear Adrian" is a perfectly pitched tribute to Adrian Sherwood's 1980s peak with a glistening Balearic sheen. It's very good, of course, but it's the three versions of Jura Soundsystem's "Udaberri Blues" that have really set our pulses racing. The rootsy, floor-friendly original version comes accompanied by a heavyweight, breakbeat-driven Dub straight from the top drawer, and a blissfully brilliant Space Mix that sounds like a long lost, undiscovered relic from the ambient house era.
Review: The first in a series of compilations by Jura Soundsystem which blends dub, ambient, downtempo, boogie and proto house with a focus on previously unreleased music, out of print titles and some special versions edited specifically for the album. According to label boss Kevin Griffiths, the intention of this project was to delve deeper into the reissue pond and unearth some lesser known tracks and artists. Light one up and swagger to the sunkissed groove of Astral Engineering's "Seashore Dub", submit to the sweet steel drums and cosmo-dub vibes of Ken Dang's "Born In Borneo" (Jura Soundsystem Edit) or get down to the boogie-down vibe of Tabou Combo Superstars' "Ooh La La" (Jura Soundsystem Edit). The end of the album includes some soothing ambient tools.