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It was way back in 2007 when Claremont 56 boss Paul "Mudd" Murphy and longtime friend Ben Smith made their debut on the then freshly-minted imprint. In the years since, they've delivered a string of luscious and atmospheric releases for the imprint, including three high quality albums.
It's perhaps fitting, then, that the duo returns to mark the start of Claremont 56's second decade. Amazingly, "Janet 50" not only contains their first new material since the release of 2016 album Gorthleck, but is also the pair's first single for six years.
"Janet 50" is classic Smith and Mudd; a rich, heady and gently unfurling instrumental rich in relaxed instrumentation, leisurely grooves and spacey, far-sighted synthesizer motifs. The track is underpinned by a shuffling groove high on hand percussion and toasty bass guitar, but it's Smith's cascading guitar lines and Murphy's fluid electric piano parts that catch the ear.
There's something of a treat on the flipside, where Versatile Records veteran Nicholas Chaix dons his now familiar I:Cube alias to provide a stunning remix. Over the years, the Chateau Flight member has earned a reputation for delivering high quality material that touches on a variety of styles, from blissful ambient and jacking house, to off-kilter jazz, Giallo-style horror soundtracks and pitched-down Yorkshire bleep and bass.
His take on "Janet 50" is, if anything, even dreamier than Smith and Murphy's original, smothering a low-slung, bass-heavy electronic groove in intergalactic chords, delay-laden congas, occasional acid lines and reverb-heavy passages of guitar and electric piano. It feels like a future classic in waiting.