New Music Saturday – The Junta – J3 (Album Review)

A new album from Salford electro boffin Monty via German Shepherd Records. Released on September 4th. If you can’t wait out on 28th August on most digital stores and streaming is “TECH NOIR- The Remixes” features remixes from The Junta, Night Operations, Space Museum and Positronik.

It features 11 instrumental tracks of layered IDM. “Plans for vocal versions of a couple of the tracks featuring some special guests had to be abandoned due to the lockdown but it is hope they will emerge when things get back to normal.” So maybe a remix version

This is Monty not playing games, a darker cinematic sound. Layered arrangements remind me of early Orbital on this his 3rd album. Lockdown has been very productive.

Of the new album Monty says: “Recorded mostly between Feb and June 2020…idle hands and all that! Wanted to avoid doing a bunch of lockdown songs, because I thought there’d be a wealth of them. Though couldn’t resist throwing in MAN AS AN ISLAND. Can’t wait to actually take these tunes on the road…when Boris green-lights the venues again.”

Let’s do a track by track review.

“Prophecy” begins with an angry, caged bass and solemn strings then the beats kick in. This is dark and rich and an almost menacing introduction.

“Tech Noir” immediately kicks in on a longer version. A good balance of light funk guitar and darker layers. Hypnotic it’s like being sucked into a whirlpool whilst in the sea of Ibiza.

Rave elements are all over the suitable titled “High”, think Kevin Saunderson’s Inner City with Front 242 on bass.

“Suspira” is a track I’ve had a few months. Intense with atmospheric chimes the video above sums up it up. Halloween Dance Floor stuff with John Carpenter as the DJ.

Things lighten up a bit with the House / Techno (er Tech House) of “Straight Outta Claremont” Detroit meets Eccles with an obvious nod to New Order.

Really like the driving “September”, using more organic drum sounds with Orbital influenced synth stabs and sequences.

On “Rose” Monty breaks out the synthetic orchestra in a Michael Nyman time signature over a growling bass.

Disco returns on the suitably titles “Tony Manero”, Saturday Night Hayfever ! Nice guitar interplay with the solid synth backing.

The tempo slows for the Jarre-esque “Not To Teenage Self” mixing in some wonky synth pads and a very, very deep bass to annoy the neighbours.

The closing track, “Man As An Island” juxtaposes John Foxx influenced textures and piano with insistent sequenced bass and beats.

Summing up, a mature third album with plenty of complex layers of synth loveliness. Look forward to some tracks with added vocals.

After reviewing his digital single “Tech Noir” on here a few months back it’s actually getting picked up on BBC Radio, RADCLIFFE & MACONIE on BBC 6 MUSIC (tomorrow) Sunday 16th Aug (can’t see my blog having that much impact!) So exciting times ahead!


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