So here’s something new and incredibly rad–Idjut Boys have recently released a record comprised of variations of their past music, spanning years of dub/disco sounds meant for British clubs and ‘80s partiers. The name of the collection is Versions, and it is a modernized showcase of the English dance music legends.
“Ambient Rab” sets us off on an acoustic journey similar to Explosions in the Sky. But its real purpose is in making a smooth transition to “Kenny Dub Headband,” where jazziness in the form of upbeat percussion and piano builds segue into a variation of finger-snappin’ funk. About a third of the way through, a thick, heavy bass section intrudes with a drop that washes the music into a bubbling, piano-driven groove. This bubbling action is heard again on the final track, “Le Wasuk,” where bass lines bead into a frothy dance rhythm.
Idjut Boys take an eleven-minute meditation/intermission of sorts with “Another Bird,” a track meant for campfire listening and transcendental experiences. Stacked with smokey guitar riffs and warped sounds that hum at the outskirts of heavy bass, the layering mastery of Idjut Boys is on fire here.
Vocals eventually emerge on “Going Down,” where a female vocalist repeats the question, “Why you going down to hell for love?” over upbeat, spacey indie electronica. Its club banger potential is unreal.
But the spaciness takes on another form when Jamaican dub elements walk in with a goofy smile on their face for “Lovehunter Dub.” The track’s tropical dub taste has hints of sweltering bongo drum beats; grumbling guitar lines; and gradual, unforeseen sci-fi dankness that–assuming this record has already been licked, filled, folded and sealed–bakes it up and prepares its listener for epic sparkage.
Idjut Boys’ layering of eclectic dub-heavy sound is what gives Versions depth and richness; it’s a honey-soaked baklava of an album.–Rachel Haney