In their warmth, density and extended length, Conrad McDonnell and Dan Tyler's tracks harkened back to the classic disco of Paradise Garage, but also sought inspiration in dub reggae, early Chicago house and the '70s African funk of Fela Kuti. At a time when super-clubs reduced house's lowest common denominator to hard and progressive sounds, Idjut Boys sounded like outsider heroes. Releases on their own U-Star label felt as substantial as the heavyweight vinyl they were pressed on.
In more recent years, the Boys found new comrades on the nu-disco / neo-Balearic scenes, and their output has taken on a blissed-out Ibiza sunset vibe. This set of alternative versions of tracks from their 2012 album, Cellar Door, is shot through with languid bass lines, shimmering acoustic guitars and noodling leads. Where a lot of modern Balearic music can sound cheesy and banal, Idjut Boys have a keen sense of melody and a fondness for unexpected left turns, which keeps their tracks tight and surprising. "Another Bird" is as serene as Fleetwood Mac’s "Albatross," while "Going Down" with Sally Rodgers is a poppy indie-dance track until it wriggles off suddenly into subaquatic brass-samples and pattering percussion.
Idjut Boys are still at their best when, as per their '90s releases, they get deep and dubby, drenching their tracks in echo and reverb. "Kenny Dub Headband"—in which the keys, guitars and drums swirl around a trenchant beat and fat, strutting bassline—is incredible. Likewise, "Lovehunter Dub" (a track pushed to the edge of sanity by stereo-panning FX) and the abrasive Kraut-disco of "Le Wasuk" have a depth and lightness of touch that, two decades on, still makes the Boys sound distinctive.