dr dunks & justin vandervolgen – keep it cheap 4 (keep it cheap, 2011)

Eric Duncan’s twin edit assault continues with the latest instalment of his Keep It Cheap series. On number 3 he welcomed Felix Dickinson to the party for some murky behaviour and sleazy vibes, and for the latest edition he’s created a double header of the year scenario by making a NYC editing tag team with Justin Vandervolgen. Dr Dunks was virtually unstoppable last year, and Justin Vandervolgen’s Try To Find Me project was a major disco sensation so the bar is set at everest levels.

In the red corner Dr Dunks pays another visit to Caroline Crawford (‘Coming on Strong’ was the source for a previous C.O.M.B.I.) this time extending her sweet disco number ‘A Nice Feeling’. Long instrumental sections introduce all the lush feel good grooves of the original, creating a sultry sunshine vibe, before the vocals are let loose in a typical Dr Dunks fashion. Mined of its bottom end and treated to a little echo and reverb, her voice soars above you’re head, guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.

In the blue corner disco viking JVV delivers a knock out punch in the form of dancefloor haymaker ‘Versions’. It’s a low slung slice of ‘balearock’ in a 70’s Laurel Canyon vein with about 4 neat guitar riffs going on at the same time to create a sunset groove. There are bongos a-go-go and all things chuggy, and even a crazy anachronistic percussion breakdown in a heads down style. Resistance is futile to this groove.

There are only 300 copies worldwide so get it from Pic before it sells out.

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dr dunks+bastardos ‘keep it cheap’ / locussolus ‘i want it’

Today saw the arrival of two storming releases sure to put an end to any winter blues from two of the biggest names in the game.

First up is the new release from Eric Duncan’s Keep It Cheap imprint. For vinyl number 3, Eric lets a buddy in on the action as Felix Dickinson (the man behind the recent Originals comp, which we reviewed a couple of weeks ago) presents the b side “Beef” edited under his Bastardos moniker (for the more curious, the original is apparently Zeus – Cowboy on the Beach). Wait a minute isn’t this the wrong speed? Exactly, Foolish Felix has lived up to his name here and given us a slow motion psychedelic chugger. As this speed the groove is awash with reverb, the guitars sound other worldly, the vocals sound like something out of Twin Peak’s red room (The owls are not what they seem) and the synths swirl around like a 70’s horror flick nightmare. It’s smoggy and it’s dirty, a good tip to take a room leftfield, or if you want to space out at home.

On the flipside, play that funky music whiteboy, Dr Dunks gives us an edited up slinky punk funkin rendition of Modern Romance’s ‘Best years of our life’. It grooves, it moves, the percussion sounds like saucepans, the bass sounds like magnificent seven by the Clash. It’s a disco not disco belter. Essential party music.

My personal favourite of these two releases however comes from DJ Harvey’s Locussolus project. The third release from the Loco crew on the respected International Feel label comprises two powerful weapons for dancefloor detonation. On the A side (I Want It) we get straight into the groove with a bouncy bassline riding a steady beat before all many of synth melodies start to float over the top. We get treated to some vocals from Harvey himself, with a pervy call and response “You want it? I want it? etc” and then the track enters a full on head down throb, maintaining a focussed tension. This builds to a lull in the middle, an eye in the storm, before things build back up into a fizzing driving finale.

On side B (Next To You) the pace drops but the quality keeps up. The track lulls the listener into a false sense of security with some gentle keys, before dropping into some reverb heavy drums and an impeccable bassline, which soon provides the basis for a fantastic loose boogie number. This track has everything, roving world percussion, piano breaks, a liquid bassline, a steam whistle synth reminiscent of summer madness by Kool and the Gang, whispered vocals, and some Levanesque synth noodling. Sublime. Modern day JazzFunk Odyssey.

You can purchase both of these releases here, and as a treat, here is a link to a ludicrous interview with Harvey, in full on El Duderino mode…

© Patrick Ryder @ gluefactorymanchester