John B - Electrostep (2006)
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Electrostep, is varied, accessible, interesting, exciting & genre-bustingly electro-Robo-Tastic. John B's 7th album is more than just a collection of disposable, short-lived dumb dancefloor D&B tracks. Lots of clever, funny lyrics, robot vocals, wide-ranging musical styles, pioneering approaches to production, mainstream appeal but its still underground, raw & refreshing. The influence of modern Electro, indie/rock & 80s synthpop is noticeable throughout, but is interpreted in a way that moulds perfectly with the power and energy of Drum & Bass to define a revolutionary new direction: soon to be widely known as 'ElectroStep'!
Collaborators include: 80's superstar Howard Jones on 'For You See Me' - a powerful blend of electropunk & DnB with a gorgeous vocal & breakdown/buildup. John Bs Porn star friend Marcy Meow provides vocals on the 80s covers 'Tainted love' and 'Metro'. "We met in San Francisco - she's done around 25 movies to date including Barely Legal and Bang Bros." Marcy has her own band Suicide Tuesday and is currently working in Vegas. John performed with her this year at the WMC in miami at the soho lounge. Other collaborators include Floridian Bands Fashionista & Iowatest, Soma-signed My Robot Friend, new UK act One Life Left and LA Electro-TrannySex-Masters Dirty Sanchez.
KNOWLEDGE MAGAZINE: Electrostep is quite simply the most breathtakingly personal album by a drum & bass artist since New Forms. John B has single-handedly created a new genre in Electrostep, and it would be criminal if he didnt go on to achieve a similar level of acclaim as Roni Size did at the 1997 Mercury Music Awards.
IDJ MAGAZINE - ALBUM OF THE MONTH: If you think drum & bass has steered itself into an artistic cul-de-sac then you definitely need to hear this album, for it is unlike any other thrown up from this scene. For the past few years, with singles such as American Girls and Electrofreeek plus Marilyn Manson remixes, John B has almost single-handedly developed a drum & bass style soaked in eighties electro, rock, grunge and trance influences and doused in tongue-in-cheek humour; and it has garnered him a fan-base few of his contemporaries could test. Alongside original compositions such as Russian Bride and Stalking You On My Space, both demonstrating his acute take on life online, the album includes covers of 80s classics such as Tainted Love and Hey Mickey, remixes of Howard Jones and Dirty Sanchez, all presented in a dynamic dance floor mix. If you buy one drum & bass album this year, make it this, as youll be playing it in years to come 5/5
DJ MAGAZINE: John B is drum and basss eccentric anomaly! Not afraid to uniquely express himself... open minds should investigate!
D&B has never been particularly noted for either a sense of humour or being too off the wall, so thank fuck for John Bs Electrostep. Both tongue in cheek and irreverently innovative, Electrostep might sound like another newly imagined genre from the music journalist conveyer belt but its actually one of the most refreshing, entertaining and exciting LPs garnered by the d&b scene all year. Expanding the visions he first flowered with 04 LP In:Transit, the make-up loving eccentric covers semi-satirical electro d&b wig-outs, glistening trance nbass, body-popping robo-funkers and the bubble-gum grunge of recent single Stalking You On Myspace. And a jump-up d&b overhaul of Hey Mickey. If only all d&b albums were like this 4.5/5
TOUCH MAGAZINE: John B looks like an 80s pop star. All pho-hekan and eyeliner, hes used this synthesized decade as his muse for Electrostep. On it hes let a drum n bass robot and a disco robot do the bare backed beast together and now were invited to hear the Yamaha sparks fly. The 80s pop star Howard Jones collaborates on For You See Me (ah, now we know where blonde John got his image from) and porn star Marcy Meow adds to a cover of Tainted Love. And lest we forget the huge lead single Stalking You On MySpace, dedicated to the cool kids hobby de jour. But wheres his rendition of Dont You Want Me Baby huh? 4/5