Temples Of Jura is a new sub-label of Adelaide reissues label Isles Of Jura focusing on new original artist material, and this split 12” EP ‘Dearr Adrian / Udaberri Blues’ pairing Melbourne producer Len Leise with label boss Kevin Griffiths’ own Jura Soundystem outfit offers up its debut release. Len Leise has spent the last four years steadily building a reputation for wonky downtempo tracks that carry a strangely New Age-tinged edge.
On the A-side here, ‘Dear Adrian’ sees him fusing reverb-heavy Eighties drum machine beats with woozy pitch-shifted pads and ripples of dubbed-out electronic effects, in what’s apparently a tribute to dubmaster Adrian Sherwood, the bright synth arrangements carrying more than a hint of New Wave synth-pop as the sound of telephones dialling suddenly cuts through the wonky reverie.
If it’s a curiously difficult to genre pigeonhole slice of offcentre funk, on the flipside Jura Soundystem offer up something completely different entirely. For ‘Udaberri Blues’ Kevin Griffiths enlists the skills of guitarist Mike Burn for a rootsy slice of dub-reggae that sees reverbed-out guitar bends stretching out over a rolling backdrop of hiphop-tinged drum breaks and lurking bass synths that sits somewhere between The Herbaliser and Dub Syndicate as dubbed out echoes of ragga vocal samples flit through the mix.
The additional ‘Dub Version’ of the same track toughens up the rolling drum breaks while getting more psychedelic with the dub effects, dropping the beat out entirely at points and cutting the original guitar line up in to a rippling wash of textures, before the ‘Space Mix’ gets more ambient, sending reverbed fragments of the original track’s melodies rippling out towards the horizon as ghostly guitar bends and distant sampled seagulls and waves add to the hypnotic feel that’s generated. While stylistically they sit like curious cousins, both sides of this debut 12” from Temples Of Jura manage to impress.