J1mi aka James Hadfield has been making all manner of sounds for years – both solo and as one half of Lizards – from house to disco, Balearic to techno, and always on revered labels like MeMeMe, Not An Animal, Leng, Futureboogie and Phonica. He is part of the Beyonders collective that was started by Jason and Mark Goodings of 90’s pioneering breaks and drum and bass duo Hidden Agenda. The collective is now back after a hiatus following Mark’s tragic passing in 2016 and is as fruitful as ever with members including James as well as Mal Sharp and Nick Grimes and now a new label.
James continues to host Beyonders Present events in his hometown of Newcastle and has played at the likes of Glastonbury, Stowaway and Pikes this year, as well as across Europe in the past. Luke Una and Man Power are big supporters of his work and this is the first EP from the collective and label, with the following four all mastered and ready to go over the next year.
The brilliant ‘Sixes Now’ has a menacing synth screwing about the mix before percussive grooves and elastic bass arrive to lock you into a dark disco groove full of menace and suspense. The thumping ‘Modern Maze’ is another hugely inventive sound with rickety rhythms, erotic vocal coos and wiry synths. A bewitching breakdown brings acoustic guitars and places the vocal front and centre before the punchy house kicks come back once more. ‘Desire’ featuring Crazy P vocalist Danielle Moore is an indie disco cut with jazzy chords and playful funk riffs that lift the spirits and cruise on smooth grooves. Closer ‘Japanese Kipling’ is a prickly brew with off-grid hots and vocal sounds, distant hits of melody and dubby rhythms that are wonderfully intoxicating.
This standout first EP very much sets the scene for what is sure to be a crucial UK label.
1. Sixes Now
2. Modern Maze
3. Desire (ft Danielle Moore)
4. Japanese Kipling