Jupiter (DJ Set)
Jupiter is a French-English duo based in Paris, but they first met one night in London. An empty dancefloor, a one hit wonder (1982 funk classic Mama Used To Say), a band was born. Amélie and Quarles’ work relies on a common passion for a time when glitter and carelessness were kings. The impact of disco and electro-funk on their music is a clear one, yet the band happily quotes a wider range of influences, such as Sly & Robbie, Beach House, Alan Parsons Project, Siriusmo or even the Beastie Boys.
Their first single, Starlighter, caused quite a stir on the blogosphere when it came out in 2009. As a true underground anthem, it encompassed the fullness of the band: a rich blend of songwriting chic and dancefloor hedonism. Their remixes for Metronomy, Anoraak or Two Door Cinema Club all carried that same signature style. In the meantime, Jupiter dropped a cover of the song that started it all, Mama Used To Say, which got praised by its original author. This handful of tracks drove them to appear on compilations by Ministry Of Sound, Valérie and eventually Kitsuné. The Parisian label moved on to release their two following singles: the one and only Saké, which topped electro charts for weeks in spring 2011, and a couple of months later Kass Limon, an electronic take on a forgotten tropical disco tune by Kassav’. On stage, the duo turns into a love triangle involving a third musician.
Juicy Lucy, Jupiter’s debut album, compresses their sound into 11 tracks: heavy beats, light vocals, sober yet chiseled production, sharp songwriting and melodic generosity. The record seamlessly bridges the gap between many genres: boogie funk, italo, neo disco, arena rock, psyche pop with a hint of dub & reggae. A strong feeling of controlled carelessness runs through the album, carried by Amélie’s high pitched vocals. As a matter of fact, one could easily picture the singer working with more mainstream artists, as she seems to have found an unstoppable formula for melodic hooks. While Quarles takes over the microphone on two songs, his personal style is more reminiscent of that of Belgian band Telex’s vocalist, Michael Moers.
Their music is all about noble textures, cohesive soundscapes and a definite sense of enlightened melodies. Despite echoing past references, Juicy Lucy steers clear from the retro obsession typical of much of today’s music. It’s rather a modernist project, looking far ahead and beyond, and above all a successful attempt at putting songwriting back into a musical landscape spoiled by an overdose of gimmicks. It’s an easygoing trip of eleven songs, eleven potential hits travelling through time and style while reminding us that a bright future still lays ahead for pop music, be it electronic or not.
Yip Deceiver is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Davey Pierce, which was originally intended to be a solo project, but has since become a collaborative effort with Nicolas Dobbratz. Yip Deceiver's music is an exciting take on experimental dance pop with strong hooks, and playful elements of new wave, 80s R&B and electro. Both members pull double duty in Of Montreal's live band, and Dobbratz also plays with the disco-pop act Sugar & Gold. The band just completed its first US tour supporting its self titled debut EP -- out now digitally, but on CD and LP format April 19 -- available from Aerobic International. Yip Deceiver is currently working on its debut album due out late 2011.