Artist: Guy J
Title: Funkijunki EP
Label: Proton Music
By: Devon Shaw | 8 December 2006
  • 1. Azid
  • 2. Funkijunki
  • 3. Nazz
  • 4. Boxing Day

Guy J "Funkijunki EP"

Out Now on Proton Music

2006 has been quite a year for Guy J. Breaking onto the scene back in August with the well-executed 'Never Say No EP', the Israeli followed with sophomore release 'Hazui', the energetic 'Resek' with Raanan Raz, and produced a remix on the flip of Elias Tzikas & D Pen's excellent 'Frequency Loss'. Guy J's latest effort the 'Funkijunki EP' takes him to Proton Music, offering up a few slices of promising new tuneage.

'Azid' kicks off as a stripped-down techy number, leading the way with a barrage of percussion, a heavily modulated bass line and an acid riff to drive the main melody - if it could be considered that. For the most part these elements remain largely unchanged, and so the track retains a constant energy point throughout. Appropriate for opening set filler, but lacking the dynamics to strike a chord with most DJs. Definitely not Guy J's best work.

Up next is the title track 'Funkijunki', which opens with a steppy, lagoon-style dub kickdrum and more percussion. A largely minimalist effort, effects and acid synths are very subtly laid every 32 bars, sneaking into a subdued breakdown halfway through the song. A wash of panned effects, stabs and pads stack up for a climax that re-launches back into the main drive. The bass is infectious, and makes for a uniquely enjoyable mixing experience.

'Nazz' shouldn't have been included. Opening with a lone lead synth, the song builds towards a yawn-inducing compositional bore, tantamount to watching paint dry.. The track makes no effort to develop, and not a whole lot of other elements are introduced. The result is a completely forgettable tune soon to be lost in digital download archives. A testament to the dilution of standards that used to lead to more quality releases - this kind of stuff should be left behind.

But the closer 'Boxing Day' is wickedly delightful in such a way that the release could completely do without the other three tracks and still hold it's own. Quietly opening unassumingly with stabs and a sharp beat pattern, a snare leads into a funky, wonderfully smooth bass line and a slice of atmospherics used sparingly to great effect. Arps dance in the breakdown and more synths emerge one at a time to round out the sound, though the highlight remains the most driving influence: the bass.

All said and done, the release is weak - probably Guy J's weakest. Three of the four tracks are completely indistinguishable from the vast majority of trash that plagues and oversaturates the digital music domain. That the medium makes releases easier to distribute is both a blessing and a curse. The time and preparation required for a real record would have also mandated a standard of quality for the material, and the 'Funkijunki EP' could have benefitted accordingly. Instead it falls listlessly into obscurity.

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