Juk Juk Juk JukWinter Turn Spring
TEXT RECORDS (TEXT012, 12”)
The lack of information on Juk Juk (just a name and a city: Caleb Waterman, London), is inversely proportional to the richness of the sound on this 12” - and the more you hear it, the better it gets. Like everything on Text Records, you can hear the mark of Four Tet, whether it be in the mastering or in the overall sound, because Kieran Hebden is a man who listens with his heart rather than with his ears, and it shows. “Winter Turn Spring” consists of two pieces of beats loosely linked to the bass and garage scene - but with a certain indie ring to them - to be enjoyed not at the club or a festival, but at home. Because, although the colourful beats and harmonies make the record sound like spring, like the title suggests, it's actually quite an intimate affair; for consumption behind closed doors and the windows shut to keep out the cold, with the central heating and the lights on.
Juk Juk's way of producing is extraordinary, because when you think you recognise some starting points (James Blake, Caribou, Four Tet himself); he gives the sound an unexpected twist. For example, “Frozen”, which starts and ends with a very serene breeze of ambient over which some guitars play (reminiscent of the psychedelic folk of the seventies) and a trembling and slow voice floats freely, even making one think the record should be played at 45 RPM instead of 33. But then the beat and bass come in, between hip-hop and 2step, with a set of vocals that sound like birds twittering, and the initial laziness turns into an optimistic celebration, almost uncontrollable happiness. “Winter Turn Spring”, the A-side, works the same way, though it's more garage-like. But the sensation is as unexpected and jubilant as the other track: the key is in the vocals (like Laurie Anderson produced by Horsepower Productions, vocals embroidered on a minimal piece of cloth) and the devastating bass line that pushes the tune up, up, up. This debut is one of those that set off all the alarm bells. Keep an eye out for this guy.