Junior Boys

Body Language, Vol. 6

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Without the knowledge that both Junior Boys have been DJing for some time, there's a natural inclination to approach their volume in Get Physical's Body Language series with a little apprehension, like it might be one of those reasonably sequenced batch of favorites -- a glorified mixtape, or what journalist Philip Sherburne once termed the "vanity compilation" -- rather than a proper, skilled DJ set. Junior Boys will always be thought of first as recording artists, and they couldn't possibly carry a rep as jocks on the level of Jeff Mills or Ricardo Villalobos, but they are evidently able enough to put together the kind of set that goes many places with fluidity. As with any other well-assembled mix that is fairly diverse, you might catch yourself while listening and realize the absence of trip-ups in the sequence's movement from one point to another. In this case, there's Foster's claustrophobic, bordering-on-isolationist "Bl3w R0d3o D3m0" only a few minutes away from Pushé's mid-'80s electro-disco -- the François K-mixed "Don't Take Your Love Away." It's also a credit that the two most similar and sun-kissed tracks, the Prins Thomas mix of Sorcerer's "Surfing at Midnight" and the Todd Terje mix of Studio's "Life's a Beach," are half an hour apart, separated by rigid and gnashing techno, fruity left-field house, and fierce neo-electro. All the transitions are natural, never pressed. There are no poor selections, but two highlights are worth mentioning: Junior Boys' own appropriately chilly yet affecting "No Kinda Man," which is exclusive to the mix, and Stereo Image's "Dark Chapter," a paranoid knot of synth funk, post-punk, and U.K. garage featuring original Junior Boy Johnny Dark. A plus for proud Canadians: with the contributions of Foster, Stereo Image, and Junior Boys themselves, the latter half of the mix could be played on Canadian airwaves and almost comply with the Canadian content quota. Luckily there's no gratuitous J.B.'s Nickelback dub to put it over the top.

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