mon 24/02/2020

CD: Julio Bashmore - Knockin' Boots | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Julio Bashmore - Knockin' Boots

CD: Julio Bashmore - Knockin' Boots

Bristolian house don's debut has its tasty moments

Julio Bashmore keeps the visuals stylistically opaque

“Julio Bashmore” is actually the nom-de-dancefloor of Bristolian DJ-producer Matt Walker who’s been slowly building a rep over the last five years. Outside clubland, music-lovers may have heard of him via his production on Jessie Ware’s early singles. In the nightworld, he’s better known as the purveyor of classy, propulsive house sprinkled with a smidgeon of grit. His debut album combines both these aptitudes to increasingly enjoyable effect as it progresses.

It opens with the title track, which samples early Eighties easy listening R&B-disco queens The Jones Girls and, for a few songs, as filter disco pounder follows filters disco pounder – including the Britney-borrowing cut-up, “She Ain’t – it seems we’re in for a 2015 retread of chart-bothering millennial sample-heads such as Phats & Small and the Shapeshifters. At this point, anyone referring to the press release may see that, according to DJ Magazine, “Knockin’ Boots revives many of the hopes dashed by the last Daft Punk album. Maybe it should have been a bit more like this.” To which the only possible response is, “Thank God DJ Magazine are not Daft Punk’s A&R people.”

However, by the time the album’s ended, while DJ Mag’s load of cobblers remains irrelevant, Bashmore has wandered into areas that do, indeed, make Knockin’ Boots a worthwhile outing. The middle section is best, a stylistic house music adventure that takes in synth-disco with a flavour of Hercules & Love Affair (“Rhythm of Auld”), driving acid house explorations (“Bark”), Afro-delic house (“Umuntu”), classy electro-house (“For Your Love”) and more. Throughout, well-chosen guest vocalists add human drama to the proceedings: Californian nu-funker Seven Davis Jnr, South African rapper Okmalumkoolkat, and soulful London singers Bixby and J’Danna. The latter concludes things with the spacey, likeable, William Orbit-esque groove of “You & Me”. By the time the listener reaches it, the opening cuts are forgiven. Tracks five to 12, then, are the juice on this one.

Overleaf: Listen to "Kong", featuring Bixby

Add comment

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a gift subscription?


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters