Australian producer Mood J explores a decidedly New York aesthetic on his debut record Turn Your Love Around, full of sincere emotional depth and undeniably infectious movement. Out next month on increasingly indispensable London imprint Distant Hawaii, it’s a satisfying melange of stark club beats and engrossing grooves, and a rich addition to any record bag.
Mood J, née Jonathon Butters, kicks things off hard with a sublimely pleasing remix of George Benson’s disco classic “Turn Your Love Around.” The opener perfectly refreshes the original with jacking hi-hats and sumptuous kick drum. We get just the pure hook from the source, narrowed into a euphoric refrain, filtered and crisp.
Next, the record deepens to channel a dense downtown aura on “NY Vibration,” as aching strings and sultry bass linger in hauntingly dissonant harmony. It’s reminiscent of the deep club workouts of Bushwick party impresarios Earth Boys, or the spiritually moving Jersey house of Kerri Chandler.
Aptly titled, “The Arps,” on the reverse side, finds gritty drum machines loops pulsating against lush synthesizer arpeggiators, infused with the wonder of a late night fog-machine boogie, bathed in sweat and flashing light.
The finale, “Moonlight Drive,” leaves us on bittersweet note, emphatically funky but tinged with a mournful certainty.
You can pre-order this bad boy over here, it’s out May 12.