Review: Arttu Snellman has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Clone thanks to his releases on Royal Oak. However, that arrangement changes as the Berlin-based producer's latest venture for the Rotterdam operation sees him change over to the Jack for Daze outlet. Certainly, his approach is tougher than before; the title track is redolent of '90s techno, with metal-plated percussion providing the backing for insistent bleeps and rubbery sub-bass. On "WD40" and "Bonus Peach", eerie organ riffs prevail, underpinned by sturdy kicks and powerful bass, while on "Dust", Arttu reverts to a harder sound, as insistent stabs are married with an aggressive rhythm track and growling bass.
Review: Given his well known love of cheap electronics, jack tracks and the fluorescent pulse of early '90s warehouse music, it is no surprise to find Unknown To The Unknown founder DJ Haus popping up on Clone's Jack for Daze offshoot. Helta Skelta, a four-track assault on the senses that blends the distinctive swing of vintage drum machines with riotous acid and cheap-and-cheery electronics, holds few surprises. That's not a criticism, though, since few do this kind of retro-futurist dancefloor abuse quite as well as the UTTU man. We can detect a few audible nods towards the bleep techno period, too, particularly on the sub-heavy silliness of "Back 2 Tha Future" and "Metronomy", which sounds like a mutant funk re-make of Unique 3's "The Theme".
Review: Bio Rhythm boss Paul Du Lac makes a welcome return to Clone's all conquering Jack For Daze initiative, some three years after dropping the incendiary Blowback 12". From the opening "Set IT Off" style bars of the title track, it's overtly clear Du Lac is in Jack For Daze appropriate mode, slamming down bumping rhythm on top one another whilst playfully laying down a detuned key line, making for the label's most unhinged homage to the days of Dancemania since Geeeman's "Rubberband2" a few years back. "Spaces Below" comes from a deeper place, with growling synth lines and textures expanding across the channels as Du Lac works the drum machines to the bone and "Tantra Master" sees submarine FX thrown around the lower depths as the Rotterdam resident gets tantric with the groove.
Review: Turning tricks with ever more prolificacy, Roman Flugel is back in business once again with some decidedly rough stylings for Clone's Jack For Daze series. "Even More" is a taut and responsive floor worker shot through with that quintessential Flugel quirk, in this case defined by a funky guitar lick over the booming machine drums. "More & More & More" gets even wilder, bringing in a loony lead synth that calls to mind the primal production style of UK Funky over a rugged box-jam jack. With some classic Dance Mania flavoured vocal samples flown in for good measure, a crowd-busting belter is born.
Review: Long overdue return to Jack For Daze for Geeeman aka 4Lux boss Gerd, whose previous emission on the Clone sub label, the Traxmen referencing "Rubberband2" still remains a totally unhinged highlight of the Dutch hub's recent output here at Juno. Gratifyingly "Bang't" is every bit as good, twisting a detuned organ riff around a heaving, viscous basement beat and ham slicing percussion. That intermittent vocal sample dances a merry dance in-between the arrangement as the erstwhile Geeeman works it hard on the drum machine. "Fire Extinguisher" is a more thick set accompaniment, with gaseous analogue touches tickled by percussive rhythms in the opening moments before the entire emphasis of the track gets turned on its head as a metallic drone comes to the fore, the prelude to a full on glorious malfunction that gets repeated gleefully several times over.
Review: Given the raw and stripped back nature of Marquis Hawkes' productions for Dixon Avenue Basement Jams, it's little surprise to find him popping up on Clone's similarly robust Jack For Daze offshoot. Those familiar with his style will feel right at home. All four tracks go hard from the off, with stomping beats, heavy acid lines and breathless, cut-up vocal samples helping to create a riotous mood of late night abandon. Naturally, picking highlights is tricky, though the nagging electronic hooks and bumpin' percussion of "Peanut" and the bouncy pianos and delay-laden musical flourishes of the techno-tempo "Like That" take some beating. Amazingly, the title track, with its' vintage ghetto house feel, almost does.
Review: With previous releases on the Clone Jack For Daze imprint coming from Dance Mania-inspired Gerd alias Geeeman, Hague-based synth voyager Legowelt and Berlin-based Chi-house acolyte Murphy Jax, Night Slugs co-founder L-Vis 1990 makes for a logical addition. The Circuits EP follows a wave of club focused tracky material from the producer most notably the debut Night Slugs Club Constructions release and bangs hard across four productions. If anything this release demonstrates a more fully developed take on the raw house tracks of Club Constructions, combining the brighter palette of his earlier material with the jacking styles of the new. The title track especially is a raucous combination of bumping 909 rhythms and lysergic strings, while "That Thunder Track" throws a malfunctioning, phased lead with the hollow abrasion of classic grime into the mix.
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.
Review: Legowelt aka Danny Wolfers' first release of 2019 sees him operate at his most esoteric. "A Destination Awaits" is led by swirling textures and pulsating bass tones that comes across like the sound track to a voyage to a distant world. It is unsure whether or not "I Have seen Other Worlds" is auto-biographical, but irrespective of this fact, it sees Wolfers in spaced out mode, with hypnotic melodies to the fore. "Star Simulator II" is just as trippy, resounding to a cosmic disco groove and beautifully spacey hooks, while "Deep Magic Begins Here" concludes the release with the veteran Dutch producer laying down shimmering synth passages over a warbling bass.
Review: The artfully punned Anna Logue's Sleepover makes for a welcome return to Clone duty for the Morning Factory duo Jozef Lemmens and Pierre van der Leeuw, having debuted on the Royal Oak leg in fine style last year with Fantasy Check. Surfacing this time on the Jack For Daze arm of the Rotterdam operation, the switch seems all too appropriate when you bask in the title track, whose taut opening unfurls into an engrossing melange of relentlessly cascading drums and raw melodic emotion. "Sleep Walk" proves to be just as rewarding, formed around a rubbery analogue bassline upon which chattering 808s rain like it's London while rich streams of emotive, orchestral deepness emigrate towards your senses. Both tracks make for a very real representation of what the Chicago House progenitors were trying to achieve nearly 30 years ago.
Review: As his previous releases have so thrillingly demonstrated, nu skool German revivalist Murphy Jax is more than adept at conjuring intoxicating blends of vintage Chicagoan jack and head-warping electronic disco. "Kevin Spacy", initially released on vinyl earlier this year, is a perfect example of this. Revolving around hard, sharp sequenced basslines, twisted arpeggios and lazy, star-gazing synth melodies, it offers the sort of balls-out, analogue-heavy take on space disco that was once the preserve of fellow Clone adventurer Legowelt. Orgue Electronique take the track back towards Chicago on two string-drenched, Larry Heard on valium reworks, whilst bonus cut "Smoodrama" offers a deeper take on early Chicago house.
Review: Yes Clone! The Jack For Daze series has been on sublime form of late, and their latest issue puts the focus squarely on the mid '90s output of Roy Davis Jnr. Anyone with some knowledge of Chicago's house history will know how appropriate Roy's work from this era is for the Jack For Daze label and those who don't should appreciate the chance to assess the work of such a house music pioneer! Roy's Chicago Basement Traxx features three productions hand-picked by Clone from the four-track 12" of the same name Davis Jr. originally issued in 1995 for the now defunct Kumba Records, and apparently one of Clone icon Serge's most cherished records. There's an intensity to these three tracks that will grip you instantly with the relentless rhythmic jerk of "Jack Da Rhythms" a particular highlight.
Review: Clone Jack For Daze usher in this rather potent three track collaboration between label boss Serge and veteran contributor Alden Tyrell. The two have been irregular studio sparrers since the turn of the decade, contributing remixes to the various branches of the Clone conglomerate, but House Countdown marks their first original material together. There's no drastic stylistic departure from their previous work here, which isn't surprising given the bare bones house ethos that drives the Jack For Daze series. Two variants on "House Countdown" line the A Side; the first "EPS Deng't" mix is dominated by the grinding, thick bassline that just about fits between the channels, while the "Eighty Nine" mix rounds out the bassline and marries it to a rough drum flex with the results more playful. Up next, the amusingly titled "Pump-o-matic" is Serge and Alden doing Dance Mania with an early 90s Dutch rave twist.
Review: By now, we should all know what to expect from Clone's Jack For Daze offshoot; namely contemporary would-be Chicago jackers influenced by the city's mid to late '80s heyday. That's precisely what we get here, with lead cut "Splice" sounding like a vintage fusion of Ralph Rosario's "You Used To Hold Me" and Jibaro's "Can U Dance". Flipside "Project Piano", meanwhile, comes on like a hypnotic collaboration between Larry Heard and Virgo Four, mixing deliciously touchy-feely pianos, pads and synth bass with heavy acid-era percussion. With warmer production and a drifting late night feel to the melodies, it's arguably the pick of the two tracks.
Review: Dutch mainstay Alden Tyrell has turned his hand to many a different form of vintage house, techno and electro in his time, and on this occasion he's up on regular haunt Clone with some Dance Mania-inspired riot-baiting material. "Wurk It" makes a convincing case for the revival of ghetto house in the wake of the footwork explosion, going for maddening insistence in his vocal hook to get all asses wiggling, while the 303 is taking no prisoners either. "Some House" is excitable in its own way, matching any sample bashing with an equally catchy organ line that makes for an addictive and wonderfully simple house dish. The "Dub Mix" of "Some House" is no softer, instead choosing to lay off the wild splatter of speech and let the musical elements do the talking.
Review: A lesson in simple mathematics: Alden Tyrell + Mike Dunn x Clone Jack For Dazed = you need to check this! Tyrell has been busy of late remastering the back catalogue of Drexciya for Clone, yet still finds time to come up with the excellent "Touch The Sky" for the Rotterdam empire's crucial sub label. Little more than the distinctive tones of Dunn freestyling over a f******* huge acid riff and thumping kicks, the track's simplistic composition is outweighed heavily by just how devastatingly effective it is. 4Lux boss Gerd steps out of his Geeeman costume for a remix that evens out the kinks of the original while Tyrell and Clone boss Serge go in the opposite direction on the International House mix which lays down some classic piano lines where the acid was and severely f***** with the vocal programme. Such a good record.
Review: California's foremost John Candy lookalike Vin Sol has enjoyed a productive couple of years, delivering well-received solo and collaborative releases (mostly alongside regular sparring partner Matrixxman) for Unknown To The Unknown and his own So Wavey imprint. Here he pops up on Clone's Jack For Daze offshoot with four blasts of dancefloor-centric machine music. "Off The Chain" expertly blends the energy of original Chicago jack with metallic electronics and a touch of deep house warmth, while the sweatier "Sox" makes merry with restless percussive builds and a nagging electro hook. "House Freaks" sounds like a long lost Jungle Wonz classic, while "Trac" offers some stripped-back drum machine abuse for charged-up late night 'floors.
Review: When he's not moonlighting as a John Candy lookalike, Vin Sol can be found proffering a fine contemporary take on US house tropes for the likes of UTTU, Delft, Icee Hot and his own Soo Wavey label. Having debuted on Clone's dependable Jack For Daze series last year with the Off The Chain 12", the Californian is back with another fresh four-tracker for the clubs, Like This. The title comes off like a tipsy update on Green Velvet classic "Percolator", whilst "Basement Game" is Poindexter style sleaze at a slightly pitched down tempo. On the flip "Back 2 Something" sees the Sol-master work pitch bent tones over a brutal, perma snapping drum machine groove whilst closer "Make Em Say" is a prime slab of Dance Mania inspired naughtiness.