Jun Kamoda - The Distorted Haunted Ballroom

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  • There are a few things that stand out about Jun Kamoda's past life as the leftfield hip-hopper MC Illreme. One is the playfulness of his music. The other is its confrontational quality, as demonstrated by a video from a 2008 in-store, in which Kamoda crouches on the shop counter leading a call-and-reponse over hyperactive surf rock before launching into an unexpected crowdsurf. (You can see Lawrence Le Doux, his bandmate in Baleine 3000, watching quizzically from the side.) He brought these qualities with him when he recently migrated to dance music. His birth-name tracks are weirdo disco house, full of chunky grooves and exuberant samples. But there's a riotous energy to them which you don't always associate with the style, and sometimes this spills over in unexpected ways—most memorably on last year's "The Clay," a riotous percussion bonanza that was hammered by the likes of Pearson Sound. Kamoda has yet to reconquer that peak, but he comes close on his second record for Black Acre. "Body & Soul" is the track in question, a hard-as-nails drum track punctuated by wailing saxophones. It's compressed as fuck, slamming ride cymbals and diva wails into your eardrums. In the brief break moments where the full drum kit hammers out 16th notes, it's almost too much bear—which is exactly what's good about it. The rest of the record tries for less effective extremes. "(((BYE)))" is a low-slung hypnotic looper, while "Dopey Forests" is a deep house headtrip, opening with fried psych guitar before settling into a louche groove. Both steadily layer their samples, building to sticky climaxes that detract from their dance floor impact. Kamoda does best when he lunges headfirst.
  • Tracklist
      A1 Body & Soul B1(((BYE))) B2 Dopey Forests