fri 19/04/2024

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

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