Junior Boys' Body Language Six.

Words by: Cila Warncke
Posted: 12/2/08 15:54

There are two sorts of compilations: those that offer neat packages of familiar music (i.e. end of year round ups, label compilations) and those beautiful, wild-card mixes that lead you off down a dozen hither-to-unexplored musical pathways. Junior Boys Body Language Six is a fine example of the latter. More than that: it is a cogent argument for why electronic pop - a genre often seen as a cheap, flaky, disposable cousin to "proper" pop or electronica - is as legitimate and enduring a form of musical expression as either of its antecedents.  

Things start off modestly with a bit of space disco courtesy of Prins Thomas' Sorcerer remix Surfing At Midnight and Supermayer's fabulous Saturndays. Radio Slave and DJ Hell both make early appearances, as do London newbies Love Nine and Swedish producer Steadycam.

The warm-up tracks are uniformly excellent but it's halfway in the real fun starts. Gui.tar's Love Started To Shine makes your ears twitch. Makes you think, where did that come from? A funky, catchy, super-smart electro tune - it is The Human League reinvented in Berlin circa 2007. Junior Boys' fellow Canucks Stereo Image's superb Dark Chapter elicits similar, visceral delight (whatever they're putting in the water in Hamilton, Ontario is good).

America's finest Matthew Dear gets an airing too, before the Boys dig deep for a handful of gems. First up: 1984 disco rarity Don't Take Your Love Away by Pushé (mixed by Francois K). You probably won't ever here this anywhere else, and it's superb. And the same goes for the next track: a 1982 b-side from Visage - I'm Still Searching. This segues into an exclusive Junior Boys cut - No Kinda Man - which rightfully places them within the musical pantheon. They finish with a sublime one-two: the haunting, powerful Be Kind To Me by Chloé yields to a deliciously obscure finale: sometime Flock Of Seagulls producer Bill Nelson's When Your Dream Of Perfect Beauty Comes True. A blissful, bucolic synth pop cut it sounds as charming now as it must have done on its release, more than 15 years ago. By sliding effortlessly from 2007 back to 1982 they neatly prove their musical chops while simultaneously making the point: this stuff has legs.

Luscious, frivolous, emotional, sexy, engaging - electronic pop and Body Language Six are here make the world a better-sounding place. 



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