See, very few people—yours truly included—seem to be aware of the fact Junior Boys are not only accomplished studio maestros in their own rights, but actual DJs in their spare time. Matt Didemus has his own residency in a Berlin club, apparently, while Jeremy Greenspan is not afraid of showing his DJing skills alongside collaborators such as Morgan Geist. Consequently, it turns out their take on the famous series is a surprisingly convincing affair that shows an innate sense of dynamics, progression, and even, at times, drama. The album’s opening tracks make for a perfect entry into their sonic world, especially when Supermayer’s ‘Saturndays’ gets pumped up by the DJ Hell remix of Chelonis R. Jones’ ‘Deer in the Headlights’, thus allowing Junior boys to revisit Get Physical’s recent yet neglected past (the Radio Slave remix of ‘Deer…’ got all the attention 18 months ago even though the Hell remix is the one that truly enhanced the original) while showing us they perfectly understand the dance floor’s imperatives.
Elsewhere, baroque yet irreproachable transitions are aplenty, like the way, at the album’s core, Gui.tar’s hippie house leaves place to Stereo Image’s Hot-Chip-lite electro-pop, then to Matthew Dear’s best Talking Head cold funk impersonation on ‘You Know What I Would Do’ and Pushés disco-ish digital and cheesy moves. Even more telling is their end-of-album combination: after a string of slo-mo numbers (including a brand new contemplative and plaintive composition from the Boys themselves), Chloos acclaimed dBe Kind to MeM, which remains one of the most creepy and haunting track youoll get to hear these days, is weirdly yet effectively juxtaposed with Bill Nelsonos cheerful and high-spirited 1982 instrumental lWhen your Dream of Perfect Beauty Comes Trueu. Therein lies Junior Boysy DJing craft: their attention floats with concerting ease from one corner of their discothtque and from one mood to the other, from one epoch to one emotion, without ever sounding like theyere suffering from any sort of attention deficit and without ever leaving us feeling disoriented or confused.
In the end, then, listening to Junior Boys DJing is a surprisingly fulfilling affair, especially after seeing them in concert. On the outdoor Sonar stage last June, Junior Boys live, unfortunately, was nothing short of excruciating: the mixing board was obviously fucked, machines sounded definitely out of synch, Greenspanas vocals were anemic at best, and the duous own aura of melancholia left place to two slightly out-of-shape guys and their banal technical difficulties. For future public displays of talents, maybe itid be better if they stuck to turntables, considering how candidly good they are here. Truth be told, their artistry was always designed for more private surroundings anyway and is supposed to be appreciated under anything that is not the burning Catalan sun. After two confessional and intimate electronic pop albums best suited for emo-tinged, alone-in-bedroom moments, who knew Junior Boys had it in them to actually recreate the elusive feeling of dancing in your head with your own heart as a partner on a DJ mix? Now that is some unexpected body language I wouldndt mind hearing them speak more often.