J*S*T*A*R*S - Put Me On A Planet. Steel Tiger Records [ST0001]
J*S*T*A*R*S - Put Me On A Planet. Steel Tiger Records [ST0001] was released on 18th September 2006
The artwork for 'Put Me On A Planet' was created by Darren Hopes
The J*S*T*A*R*S - sounds like the name for a funk collective of indescribable talent, projecting you into the middle of the dancefloor with remarkable speed.
Coming down to earth, it's actually the music of two blokes from Sheffield and Hull. Mind you, the discovery that the name is an acronym for an air force program looking behind enemy lines lends something a little more sinister to the equation. The Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System - now that sounds like a devious arrangement.
Close scrutiny of the J*S*T*A*R*S make-up reveals that both its practitioners have expertise in the art of making people dance and smile. Steve Cobby is one half of Fila Brazillia, a prolific team of consistently good albums (eleven at last estimate!) and countless remixes, their speciality being instrumental grooves to charm away the early hours.
Sim Lister has worked with him before at 23 Records, the company now looking after all Fila productions. Together with Fila's other half Dave McSherry the small collective have become famed for their breezy funk, shot through with a sense of humour in quirky samples or athletic bass lines.
Put Me On A Planet is an extension of this, containing all the elements that make Fila's music so enjoyable. The titles offer a clue of the subtle humour involved - Faberge Tang and Blu Genes for instance. With each track leading into the next it comes across as a semi-mix album, obviously geared more towards the floor than the sofa. And when insistent riffs such as the one that dominates That Hefty Track make themselves known, I know where I'd rather be.
Even by then, the second track, you'll have caught the bug. The beats are springy, the harmonies spicy, the loops insistently making a play for the middle of your head. Mostly instrumental, they include melodies from trumpet and saxophone to complement the electronic wizardy going on elsewhere, Spanish Hustle's evocative sax solo a good example.
A couple of the older tracks appeared on Twentythree Records samplers back in 2004, but have not lost their appeal. Tripping The Light Fantastic scoots along with electronic squiggles and snippets of brass, while Spansules takes a trip to the disco, brass section once again in tow. Finally Loose Nuke Threat, another feelgood track, nods its head to Mr Scruff with a nifty aside or two.
One listen all the way through and I guarantee you'll have the bug. J*S*T*A*R*S may be a typist's nightmare, but their music offers a feelgood extension to the summer. You'd be silly not to join in.
Ben Hogwood 4/9/2006, musicOMH
"If you like funky layered house breakbeat sounds; I suggest you see if they have room in their shuttle for you!" Steven Kent (Dogmanet) "Tight selection of tunes easy on the ear but heavy on the ass-shaking!" DJ Magazine "J*S*T*A*R*S -- awesome jumpin' tunes!" MmeFly (BeatConcious) "Lovely combination of dance music, jazz and funk; this is all fused together to provide a toxic mix of ass shakers and foot tappers." Beat Surrender
This isn't as spaced out as you'd think from the title. The planet is generally house but fans of their previous 12" releases will know, J*S*T*A*R*S are of their own world.
The opener 'Ickey Plush' was their first release along with 'Tripping The Light Fantastic'. 'Tripping' got picked up for a Destination Lounge compilation but that's certainly a strange big horn funky bounce electro lounge. It's got a little of everything in it. The type of 'odd' that Rob Da Bank likes while the type I go for is the jazzy come flamenco electro pop of 'Spanish Hustle'.
'Is It Pepper?' is more of a straight-forward Basement Jaxx vocoder style and duller for it. But there's no let up as one track leads straight into the next and it's followed by 'Nyree' (on a reggae tip), 'Positronic' (Jan Hammer?), 'Spansules' (funky-disco).
In fact, it's not worth trying to put this lot in bags. They won't let you. The last track was also on a 12" and was apparently used by the John Lewis Partnership in an advertising campaign. It's the 'Lilly Allen' jazzy-umpah one. I wonder if JLP knew it was called 'Loose Nuke Threat'?
For a 12 track instrumental (mostly anyway) dance album, it's impressive how the tracks keep your attention. The listener can sense the fun they had putting this together. Experimental electro with a dancefloor heritage, what Planet do you want to be on?
Gerry Hectic 6/9/2006, FLY Global Music Culture
J*S*T*A*R*S - Loose Nuke Threat / advertising campaigns
The J*S*T*A*R*S track 'Loose Nuke Threat' features in the 2012 Fiat Panda TV advertising campaign. Eagle-i Music set up the Fiat / J*S*T*A*R*S synchronisation.
'Loose Nuke Threat' has also been used by the John Lewis Partnership for their spring advertising campaign (including TV and cinema) 2004 and repeated in 2005 - 'Spring is Here' (Creative agency: Burkitt DDB www.ddblondon.com).
External link to the Loose Nuke Threat micropage.
Download 'Loose Nuke Threat' from Bandcamp for 50p