Founded by Jura Soundsystem’s Kevin Griffiths, Adelaide-based label Isle Of Jura have spent the last two years reissuing unearthed gems ranging from dub through to disco and post-punk, and this latest release ‘Jura Soundsystem presents Transmission One’ offers up their first compilation. Comprised of an eclectic selection of tracks ranging from reggae, dub, disco and ambient, many of which have been re-edited or never previously released on vinyl, in many senses this collection calls to mind a carefully curated mixtape that a friend might have slipped you more than anything else.
Black Shadow’s ‘Minus Group’ takes things off on a jazzy reggae wander that grows steadily more eccentric as it progresses, the majestic Arkestra-style horns giving way to lo-fi keyboard noodling as J. Dilla-esque pitched-up vocal samples chirp like chipmunks. Tabou Combo Superstar’s ‘Ooh La La’ ushers in the sort of sheeny upmarket disco grooves you’d associate with the Prelude label, all stabbing brass vamps, pressurised dancefloor rhythms and dubbed-out female backing vocals, the squelching bass synths revealing a slight hint of acid amidst the funk.
Elsewhere, Legowelt makes an appearance under his Smackos alias with ‘We Can Watch Alf In The Hotel Room’, offering up a proggy ambient interlude that sees layered analogue synths intersecting with twinkling electronic tones in a manner reminiscent of Cluster, before Percussion Sundance’s ‘Kash’ offers up the sort of streamlined disco / yacht rock that sounds like it should be soundtracking an episode of Miami Vice as flecks of funk guitar glide against woodblock percussion grooves and airy synth solos.
There are also three additional ‘ambient tool’ tracks included courtesy of Jura Soundsystem themselves, ranging from seagulls through to night-time jungle animals, and while they certain offer an interesting diversion, they’re reminiscent of retro sound effects records more than anything else. As mixtapes go, ‘Jura Soundsystem presents Transmission One’ is well worth investigation – and I’d barely heard of any of the artists featured here.