Review: Given that they released their first 12" nearly 20 years ago, it's somewhat surprising to find thatCellar Door is the Idjut Boys first "proper" album of original material. There have, of course, been other albums - a 2002 collaboration with Quakerman on Glasgow Underground, 2009's Rune Lindbeak hook-up as Meanderthals (on which they were rumoured to have done most of the work) and a string of typically dubbed-out disco re-edit collections (Phantom Slasher, Noid etc) - but nothing that could be called a definitive Idjuts album.Cellar Door, then, should perhaps be seen as a neat bonus rather than the culmination of a career that has stuttered between sublime brilliance and aloof eccentricity. Listened to on those terms, it's even better than you'd expect. First of all, it's a proper album in the old fashioned sense. Clocking in at under 40 minutes - like many of the greatest albums of the vinyl era - it shimmers with Balearic intent. Heady and intoxicating on one hand, sweet and country-tinged on the other, it's a grown up, radio-friendly set that should please those with a penchant for glistening Balearica.
Review: First released in 1987, Stephane Severac's sun-kissed European pop gem "Hold On" has long been regarded as something of an under-appreciated classic by those DJs of a Balearic persuasion. This new edition replicates the track listing of the original 12", opening with the evocative extended version. This builds in stages, opening with Chic inspired guitars and dreamy synth chords before introducing a poolside-friendly groove, snaking saxophone solos and Severac's heavily accented vocal. Over on side B you'll find the shorter "Single Version" - less sax, but just as much eyes-closed vocal action from Severac - and "Dreams", a bonus cut that sounds like his take on Duran Duran's mid-'80s big studio synth-pop sound.
Review: "Salmon Spungcake" was one of the last things Claremont 56 super-group Bison recorded before the sad passing of two of its' founder members, Holger Czukay and Ursula Kloss in the summer of 2017. Two years on from its initial release, Bison members Ben Smith and Paul 'Mudd' Murphy (also label boss) have decided to get it remixed, with original producer Conrad McDonnell (he of Idjut Boys fame) providing two suitably heavy dub disco interpretations, making this the band's first release since the passing of Czukay and Kloss. Check first the spacey A-side hypnotism of the "Zip It Shrimpy Mix", where melancholic chords and spaced-out vocal snippets wrap around a particularly percussive dub disco groove. Arguably even better is the stripped-back, bass-heavy and reverb-rich "I Think I've Got Gout Mix", which sounds like it was tailor-made to manipulate mangled minds at four in the morning.