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Staff Picks: April 23rd 2021

Juno Records Staff Picks

Juno Records Staff Picks

Staff Picks: April 23rd 2021
Our staff here at Juno Records select their top music picks to hit the shelves this week, featuring rband new albums, singles, reissues and premasters.
Cat: PLVLGN 003. Rel: 19 Apr 21
Drum And Bass/Jungle
  1. Sellasie I Sound (4:59)
  2. Valve Sound VIP (4:28)
Review: Considering the label's roster, clout and history, V Recordings don't throw the word 'legend' around unless they mean it. And boy do they mean it for this 003; two unreleased corkers from Karl Francis here covering two different chapters of his sound. On the A we have 'Selassie I Sound' capturing his 94/95 era with badass Amen choppage and that rich soundsystem treacle vibe to the bass. On the B we have the late 90s Dillinja with a much more chiselled steppy beat as he flips the Cybotron classic into VIP mode. Neither track has been released before. All aboard!
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out of stock $11.45
Cat: MI 0657LP. Rel: 26 Apr 21
  1. Orion From The Street (4:05)
  2. Do Me A Favour (3:18)
  3. Not When You're In Love (3:35)
  4. Out Of The Frame (3:09)
  5. When You Last Heard From Linda (2:41)
  6. No Pressure (3:37)
  7. In This City (3:28)
  8. I'm The One Who Wants To Be With You (2:36)
  9. Meant To Be (2:32)
  10. Invisible Days (3:45)
  11. The Curtained Room (2:44)
  12. You Get Better (3:09)
 in stock $19.19
Cat: FAM 008. Rel: 26 Apr 21
  1. Die Prophezeiung (Hadone version) (6:24)
  2. Der Weg Des Kriegers (MRD version) (5:37)
  3. Die Augen Des Teufels (Stigmata version 1) (6:03)
  4. Blick Des Bosen (Exium version) (5:34)
  5. Kein Entkommen (Hector Oaks As DJKAOS11 version) (6:27)
  6. Bisswunden (Introversion version) (6:12)
  7. Verlorene Seelen (0 Phase version) (5:19)
  8. Feuersturm (DJ Boss version) (4:50)
  9. Die Augen Des Teufels (Stigmata version 2) (5:42)
out of stock $28.36
Music (1 per customer)
Cat: STH 24305. Rel: 12 Apr 21
Broken Beat/Nu Jazz/Nu Soul
  1. Nobody's Fault (3:22)
  2. Here It Comes (3:20)
  3. Sunny Afternoon (2:49)
  4. Rolled Up (feat Mac DeMarco) (3:04)
  5. Lost Again (2:47)
  6. Break Away (3:29)
  7. Kids (feat Kyle) (3:16)
  8. Run Right Back (3:18)
  9. Miracles (feat Emily King) (4:50)
  10. Music (3:23)
out of stock $26.07
Haram (1 per customer)
Cat: BWZ 767LP. Rel: 21 Jun 21
Hip Hop/R&B
  1. Sir Benni Miles (2:39)
  2. Roaches Don’t Fly (1:44)
  3. Black Sunlight (feat Kayana) (2:34)
  4. Indian Summer (2:52)
  5. Aubergine (feat Fielded) (3:16)
  6. God’s Feet (2:09)
  7. Peppertree (2:08)
  8. Scaffolds (2:57)
  9. Falling Out The Sky (feat Earl Sweatshirt) (3:33)
  10. Wishing Bad (feat Curly Castro & Amani) (3:51)
  11. Chicharrones (feat Quelle Chris) (3:25)
  12. Squeegee (2:57)
  13. Robert Moses (1:34)
  14. Stonefruit (4:19)
Review: Surprisingly, long-serving underground rap duo Armand Hammer (AKA ELUCID and Billy Woods) have never recorded an album under the guidance of a single producer. Haram, then, is a unique item in their discography, produced as it is by a lone beat-maker, sometime Mobb Deep, Dilated Peoples and Ghostface Killah collaborator the Alchemist. Musically the album is alternately pin-sharp and drowsy, with sparkling synths, obscure instrumental samples and warming tones riding loose, jazzy and largely laidback hip-hop beats. As you'd expect, ELUCID and Billy Woods are in fine form throughout, spitting rhymes that their label accurate describes as a mixture of "the profane and the pure".

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out of stock $51.55
Cat: LMS 5521380. Rel: 19 Apr 21
Drum And Bass/Jungle
  1. Inner City Life (2020 Remaster) (7:00)
  2. Inner City Life (Binary State remix) (7:08)
  3. Inner City Life (DBridge Sonic Nostalgia mix) (6:17)
  4. [Re:Jazz] - "Inner City Life" (6:40)
Review: Timeless is Goldie's most iconic and enduring album. In 2021, it is now an unreliable 25 years old. As well as it getting its own standalone reissue, the most famous single from it also gets a re-release alongside some big remixes from key contemporary players. The 2020 Remaster kicks off and immediately sends shivers down your spine. Binary State then go for a dark, twisted, deep version, DBridge's Sonic Nostalgia mix is a real stepper with a menacing bassline and he closing cut is a lush and lounge-y [Re:Jazz] that is pure perfection.
 in stock $12.59
Cat: DE 281. Rel: 19 Apr 21
Deep House
  1. Essence Of A Dream (6:44)
  2. Risque Madness (5:14)
Review: Dark Entries is again presenting an essential classic: the Chicago house anthem Essence of a Dream, by Risque III. K'Alexi Shelby's illustrious career has included releases on legendary labels such as Trax, DJ International, and Transmat, as well as collaborations with high profile artists such as Marshall Jefferson and Pet Shop Boys. But his musical journey began at the young age of 12, when he befriended Ron Hardy and Frankie Knuckles while frequenting the Music Box and Warehouse. In high school, he began to write songs and hone his poetic craft. "I recognized I had a gift to say what I was thinking. I would study Prince and Marvin Gaye, figure out what they meant and put my spin on it. The power of the word. I was writing love notes for all my boys in high school and making a killing. I would know what to say and what they should do." In 1987, Shelby's first solo release, Risque III's "Essence of a Dream" b/w "Risque Madness," was to be cemented in Chicago dance history. He was accompanied in the studio by his cousin and production mentor, Mr. Lee. The track's effortlessly propulsive house rhythms (courtesy of the Roland TR-727, TR-707, and TR-909), salsa-inflected bassline, and oneiric strings fuse magnificently with K'Alexi's steamy, Prince-esque verse. Due to tight studio schedule times, his vocals were almost omitted. Says Shelby: "The session was coming to an end and I said I wanted to put the vocals on there. They said, 'We got no time unless you can get your vocals right in one take'. I said, 'Let it rip' and went into the vocal booth...they just stood there with their mouths open. The look on their faces was priceless." The B-side's "Risque Madness" is a tribute to Ron Hardy, DJ at the Music Box and one of K'Alexi's formative influences. The track opens with Shelby's processed voice announcing "I'd like to talk to you about escape. Let me take you away, away to a place where rhythm is life, and life is a never ending sound." This introduction captures how he felt dancing to disco every week at the Music Box. Hardy was known for playing an edit of Kikrokos' "Life is a Jungle," in which he looped the track's lysergic breakdown. Shelby utilizes the same delirious loop but builds upon it with additional percussion, melodies, samples from Hardy favorite "Let No Man Put Asunder" by First Choice, and manipulated vocals taken from The Madam's "The Sensuous Black Woman", a recording used often in early Chicago house DJ sets and recordings. Both sides of this record perfectly reflect the spirit of Chicago house music. Essence of a Dream has been remastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios. The sleeve was designed by Eloise Leigh, and features a never-before-seen photo of a teenage Shelby taken at his high school, with a bold font evoking 80's house music covers. Also included is a postcard with lyrics, an additional photo from the same session as the cover artwork, and liner notes from Shelby.
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out of stock $12.59
Lord & Dego (1 per customer)
Cat: 2052 BLACK. Rel: 19 Apr 21
Broken Beat/Nu Jazz/Nu Soul
  1. BMX Beats (5:52)
  2. Stop At The Petrol Station (2:03)
  3. Mandarin Delight (4:27)
  4. Beee Side Inside (4:21)
Review: Matt Lord has been working on and off with the 2000 Black crew since the early 2000s, though it's only in recent years that he's stepped out of the shadows. He first officially collaborated with Dego on a joint EP in 2018, the rather fine One Way To Another, and here the pair reunite for another jaunt through jazz-funk-influenced EP rich in rubbery bass guitar lines, jammed-out keys, and on EP standouts 'Mandarin Delight' and 'Bee Side Inside', fizzing disco synths and guitars. Yet while those two flipside cuts draw heavily on disco and boogie for inspiration, the rest of the EP revolves around broken beats, with Lord and Dego adding their jazzy and funky touches to heavy bruk-up rhythms.
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out of stock $11.45
Cat: PILOT 01. Rel: 19 Apr 21
  1. Went Too Far (6:02)
  2. Get Into It (5:05)
  3. Selectoor (5:21)
  4. Illumination (6:02)
Review: Cologne's Johannes Kolter made his name as DJOKO, but his most recent outing under that alias for Talman Records also included a pair of tracks credited to Kolter. It's that artistic alias he's chosen to use on this single, which introduces the world to debutant imprint PILOT. It's an EP that's well worth checking out, not least for deliciously bass-heavy opener 'Went Too Far', a weighty, stab-happy and sample-heavy affair that recalls the occasional electro tracks made by early blepe & bass and hardcore producers. Garage-influenced breakbeat workout 'Get Into It' is another funk-fuelled treat, while jungle-influenced breaks shuffler 'Selectoor'[sic] is a bass-heavy beast. The German successfully rounds off a fine EP via 'Illumination', which reminded us a little of Orbital's most melodious early moments.
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out of stock $9.73
Cat: AE 12LTD. Rel: 19 Apr 21
  1. Silent Vibrations (6:51)
  2. Astral (6:54)
  3. Drifting Sand (7:04)
  4. Uninhabited (7:28)
Review: Icy dub techno doesn't come classier than the strain you'll find on Iceland's AE Recordings. On their latest 12", they welcome Japanese producer Altone to the fold with four impeccably sculpted immersion chambers. There's a healthy amount of movement within the scenes Altone captures, avoiding the pitfall of dub techno becoming too soporific and instead creating a powerful sense of kinesis in the shimmer and shudder of the Basic Channel-indebted chords. 'Drifting Sand' is especially powerful, using a gorgeous, resonating tone which takes on an organic quality as it gently modulates over the subliminal rhythm section. Watch out though for the squashed, house-leaning funk of 'Uninhabited' if you want a low-key groover for the hypnotic crowd.
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out of stock $11.45
Cat: BB 45010. Rel: 19 Apr 21
Deep House
  1. (M) (Baby Maker dub) (4:24)
  2. (M) (909 mix) (4:54)
Review: Joseph Caserta specialises in reworking little known soul and disco gems into brand new weapons. He does so on his own label as well Bridge Boots, with a couple lined up for the next few weeks. The first is this one, which features two version of '(M)', starting with the Baby Maker dub. It's a slinky bit of squelchy dub disco funk with lively perc and pixelated pads. Picking things up and taking them out of the bedroom and onto the dance floor is a 909 Mix with more upright drums and a fat bassline.
out of stock $10.60
Cat: VNR 001. Rel: 19 Apr 21
Drum And Bass/Jungle
  1. Understanding & Knowing (6:04)
  2. In My Soul (5:57)
out of stock $17.17
Cat: LIVITY 034. Rel: 03 Dec 18
  1. Tru (4:35)
  2. Opal (5:44)
  3. The Light Within You (6:17)
 in stock $10.02
Cat: SN 4. Rel: 19 Apr 21
  1. Hard Crew (Reinst8 mix) (5:38)
  2. Hard Crew (Denham Audio remix) (7:57)
  3. Hard Crew (feat DJM - Samurai Breaks remix) (5:45)
  4. Hard Crew (Mechanizm & Kin remix) (4:55)
Review: UK rave veterans Altern 8 hadn't put out new music in over 25 years. And then they dropped new single 'Hard Crew', which has been a staple of their live sets in recent times. The original is a bristling big beat tune with crashing drums and a snaking, filthy baseline. Things get more dreamy and leggy on the Denham Audio remix before two further versions head into hardcore and then jungle territory. A percentage of the profits of this release goes to the WeAreViable campaign which hopes to help the arts and events industries survive the pandemic.
 in stock $14.62
Cat: DSRX 21. Rel: 19 Apr 21
  1. Where's The DJ? (Pissbreak mix) (13:20)
  2. Vinyl Voyage (10:30)
  3. Diamonds Cut (8:08)
Review: Whatever Delsin does, it does right, be that cutting edge new music or long forgotten reissues, It's the latter of those two missions which the Dutch label embarks on here with a second Ballet Mechanique re-issue from the Eevo Lute archives from all the way back in 1997. Across the three tunes, Jeroen Borrenberg explores crunchy electro and half time techno that operates way off in a distant realm. Even now, 25 years later, this still sounds like music that has come back from way off in the distant future. The bumping techno of 'Diamonds Cut' is our pick here.
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 in stock $10.60
Cat: TINWHITE 001. Rel: 19 Apr 21
UK Garage
  1. Wicked Ya No (5:02)
  2. Keep Coming (3:22)
  3. Soundboy (4:29)
  4. Truss We (4:29)
  5. Haterz (4:19)
  6. Dreams (Interplanetary Criminal remix) (4:00)
out of stock $12.59
Cat: RVNGNL 74LP. Rel: 26 Apr 21
  1. Hebisan (1:59)
  2. Manuke (2:10)
  3. Suiheisen (3:34)
  4. Tsuchi (3:55)
  5. Houkou (3:02)
  6. Uzu (2:25)
  7. Kaze (4:28)
  8. Numa (3:28)
  9. Ashi (2:13)
  10. Ondo (2:44)
  11. Kouji (2:23)
  12. Uchu (4:21)
 in stock $21.76
Cat: DBL 04. Rel: 26 Apr 21
  1. Hell Is For Johnny (feat The Laughter Of Saints) (4:41)
  2. I Live In A Concrete Garden (feat Tunnel Witches) (3:40)
  3. Brecon Amman Trinity (feat Abul-Loul & Missterspoon) (3:57)
  4. Bitte Pill (4:36)
  5. Duet For Harmonica & Raven (2:16)
  6. The Mercy Skips (1:38)
  7. You Were Always On My Mind (feat Abul-Loul The Singer) (4:02)
  8. Snuff Mills Pastoral (2:13)
  9. From 1804 To Bearpit (Carry Home) (6:33)
  10. Colourful Ring Of Death (2:41)
 in stock $9.73
Cat: MNQ 141. Rel: 26 Apr 21
  1. Scopri Le Tue Passioni (4:52)
  2. Linea Retta (4:17)
  3. Corazon De Fuego, Corazon De Hielo (4:06)
  4. Respira (5:43)
  5. La Danza Del Ferro (5:22)
  6. La Doble Luna (5:01)
  7. No Pares De Trabajar (4:40)
  8. Triangolo Segreto (3:56)
out of stock $21.20
Cat: OPIA 010. Rel: 26 Apr 21
Minimal House/Tech House
  1. Rainbow Road (6:21)
  2. Data X (6:25)
  3. Inception (6:30)
  4. Inception (DMX Krew remix) (4:54)
  5. First Level (4:50)
  6. Next Level (5:38)
  7. Final Boss (6:08)
  8. Objet Violent Non Identifie (7:36)
  9. Like A Star (feat MKJN) (5:22)
Review: Jimmy Batt's 'Retrospection' album is a live and direct shot of rave nostalgia direct to your veins. Importantly, the tune shave a modern styling that keeps things fresh. Right from the off and opener 'Rainbow Road' it is clear the production here is next level. The crisp, punchy beats, bright pixelated melodies and warm chord smears all have well-defined places in the mix and make the track really pop. There are IDM influences, whirring machine break downs and stomping techno cuts along the way, as well as a fine remix from DMX Krew. Vital.
 in stock $22.91
Cat: LPFTK 185. Rel: 26 Apr 21
  1. Feather (3:15)
  2. Kids Who Love The Earth (3:22)
  3. The Treadmill Of Destruction (3:36)
  4. Flutes Kafka (2:27)
  5. Checking In On A Friend (3:32)
  6. No List (3:34)
  7. Get Back (3:26)
  8. Rivers In My Mind (1:29)
  9. New Loop (1:46)
  10. Kontiki (2:29)
  11. Too Many Cars (4:39)
 in stock $19.19
Cat: OMAGGIO 014. Rel: 19 Apr 21
  1. Macho (3:42)
  2. Depression (3:03)
Review: God bless the folk sitting in the Omaggio office - without them some people wouldn't be remembering this totem of New Wave by Sound On Sound, and others not be hearing it for the first time via this reissue. Cult sounds that can't help but define an entire decade, this is mid-80s on record in the most unabashed incarnation imaginable, and it's impossible not to fall head over heels from the word go.

Restored by the highly regarded Peter Gillis - sound artist, composer, general legend of the Euro House scene - heads get two tracks of snare-topped, tom-heavy, disco-infused indie dancefloor material that could either soundtrack a movie's street scene (perhaps panning across rough and tumble pre-millennium New York) or the club sequence, and do both equal justice. One for those who know what makes people move.
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 in stock $15.76
Cat: LV 07. Rel: 26 Apr 21
  1. Black Revolution (2:49)
  2. Black Revolution (Ibaaku remix) (4:22)
out of stock $13.74
Cat: GAMM 155. Rel: 26 Apr 21
  1. We Got To Get Our Shit Together (8:14)
  2. Let It Flow (6:39)
Review: After impressing first time round, Love Drop is back with a second single for the aways reliable GAMM label. Once again the mission is simply - to tear the roof off with big, disco and house fusions that are jam packed with hooks, soul and heft. 'We Got To Get Our Shit Together' is something of a cosmic workout that has synths reaching out to the stars while the congas, flashy synth breakdowns and tropical beats roll on below. 'Let It Flow' is a throwback vocal roller with all the dazzle and glossiness you need to get the floor packed and pumping.
 in stock $13.46
Cat: BKV 036. Rel: 19 Apr 21
  1. G Sudden - "Dem Nuh Real" (6:23)
  2. King Kush - "Where You Did Dah" (3:07)
  3. RDL - "Neva Know" (3:07)
  4. Smurphy - "Summer Riddim" (7:50)
  5. Any Voice - "Do Me So" (2:46)
  6. I Jahbar & RDL - "Bumper" (3:28)
  7. Prapastar - "Gold Mine" (5:35)
  8. Smurphy - "Montegod Riddim" (7:50)
 in stock $10.30
Cat: MYS 010. Rel: 26 Apr 21
Minimal House/Tech House
  1. Persian - "Worries In The Dance (Jonny Rock Slightly Tingled Worrior edit" (6:03)
  2. Vertigo Inc - "Numbers" (5:36)
  3. Asian Psilocybe Foundation - "Wave Control" (7:17)
  4. Afrobuddha - "Obame (Treat mix)" (6:38)
Review: The Mysticisms label is doing a bang up job creating a particular vibe on their label. Rather than sticking to a sound, they're pursuing an attitude, an energy. It's rugged and dirty, rooted in no-nonsense old-skool values - a bit cheeky but totally serious at the same time, built for the freaky DJs who like to go a bit off piste. This tenth installment kicks off with Persian's 'Worries In The Dance', shuffling hard on a ruff n' tuff house shuffle and edited with flair by Jonny Rock. Next up Vertigo Inc. presents a giddy rainforest of 8 bit bleeps and wonky synth flute, while Asian Psilocybe Foundation take things slinky and shimmering on the crisp 'Wave Control'. Afrobuddha takes things further out with a powerful African drum exaltation, all dense thickets of percussion and uplifting group singing.
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 in stock $12.59
Cat: FAUVECC 001. Rel: 26 Apr 21
  1. Track 1 (MH edit) (4:33)
  2. Track 2 (MH edit) (5:17)
  3. Storm (RFX Acid rework) (6:27)
  4. Midnight Queen (RFX edit) (5:48)
Review: Fauve Records is tapping into the overlooked sound of 1980s Hong Kong and some of the razor-sharp Cantonese disco that was getting pumped out for the clubs. Following hot on the heels of the Extinct Melodies From The Tropical Moon EP, label founder Romain FX is back on board with MH delving back into the archives of seriously overlooked dance music that, thanks to their editing skills, transcends time in its sheer classiness. MH throws down a tough stomper that could sit comfortably alongside a Yello belter, and a sprightly electro funker for the boogie crowd. RFX veers towards vocodered acid disco shot through with Italo bombast and then seals the deal with some AOR electro-pop with enough punch to go ten rounds with Robert Palmer.
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out of stock $11.45
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