This Friday (20th June), the Bedmo Disco Presents… series at Big Chill Bristol reaches its’ third installment. Having given Amsterdam’s Marcel Vogel his Bristol debut and allowed PBR Streetgang’s Bonar Bradberry to indulge his disco side, this time we’ve looked to New York for inspiration. When we found out that Justin Van Der Volgen was planning a jaunt to Europe this June, we jumped at the opportunity to book the Brooklyn-based DJ/producer.
Justin doesn’t hail from NYC, but he’s become a part of the fabric of the city since his days with Warp-signed punk-funk outfit !!!. Over the last few years he’s built up a reputation as a fearless producer and re-editor, both on his own and alongside friends from the vibrant Brooklyn/Williamsburgh scene. To get you in the mood for his extended set at Big Chill Bristol on Friday, we’ve decided to run down some of his “greatest hits” to date, both on his own and with a variety of collaborators.
Scroll down for our picks of his productions, and don’t forget that Justin headlines Bedmo Disco Presesnts… #003 at Big Chill Bristol this Friday. We’ll be opening until 4am for the first time, with Justin on around 1am. It’s free to get in before 11pm, £3 after. Our old pal Legendary Tone (best before:/Hotel/Wild Honey Sound System) will be mixing it up in the Study, too, if you fancy a break from Justin’s full-throttle NYC madness.
JUSTIN VANDERVOLGEN – THE CLAPPING SONG (Golf Channel Recordings, 2010)
Arguably Justin’s first solo “hit”, this Golf Channel released jam is a humungous chunk of surging electronic disco propelled forwards by incessant handclaps, looped guitars and a booming bassline. It’s the sort of record that it’s impossible not to dance to like an utter lunatic. We secretly hope that he drops this on Friday, Just so that we can see the reaction.
JV – I WANT YOUR LOVE [JV EDIT] (Editchannel XXX, 2012)
Justin’s edits are becoming the stuff of legend. He’s done plenty – both on his own and with others – but this version of Bobby Thurston’s “You Got What It Takes” is arguably his best known. It’s a near perfect example of the art of the re-edit. Thurston’s original is a bit of a banger, but does feature a quite rubbish middle eight and some rather shoddy vocals in parts. Justin stripped those out, emphasizing the amazing groove, righteous horns and select vocal passages. Near perfect in almost every way, and a big tune at Bedmo Disco parties since its’ first release in 2012.
SOFT ROCKS – TALKING JUNGLE [JUSTIN VANDERVOLGEN REMIX] (ESP Institute, 2012)
It says something about a track when everyone remembers the remix, rather than the original. That’s certainly the case with Soft Rocks’ “Talking Jungle”. While the original – a steel drums laden chunk of hazy Balearica full of live drums, groovy organs and sun-kissed guitars – is a fine piece of music, it pales in comparison with Justin’s remix. If you’ve not heard it before, take a listen on the link above – it’s a ten-minute chunk of baggy disco bliss complete with brilliant piano solos and a killer bassline. A superb remix – one of the best of recent years, in our book.
TRY TO FIND ME – GET TO MY BABY [TBD EDIT] (Golf Channel Recordings, 2010)
Back in the late 2000s, Justin took on the Try To Find Me alias as a pseudonym for his re-edit work. He put together a couple of mixes of his own edits, the second of which came out on Phil South’s Golf Channel Recordings label in 2009. A year later, one of the highlights of that second disc – “Get To My Baby” – sneaked on on a single-sided black label 12”. This time round, it had been teased and tweaked into driving, delay-laden disco perfection by Justin and fellow Brooklyn resident Doug Lee (AKA Rong Music regular Lee Douglas) under the TBD moniker. This has been a staple in Bedmo Disco sets since the time, and has lost none of its’ allure.
TBD – OH YES (DFA Records, 2010)
Around the same time that they were re-edited an edit, Justin and Doug Lee sat down and wrote “Oh Yes”, which was the highlight of a thrillingly robust 2010 EP for DFA Records. A rip-snorting acid-meets-Italo disco thumper, it sounds every bit as raw and intense now as it did when it dropped. If you were in any doubt that Justin can bang it hard, look no further.
TBD – I DON’T KNOW (TBD Sounds, 2009)
This early foray into the world of TBD was a little overlooked at the time of release, but still sounds thrilling five years on. Baggier than their DFA release, it married Justin’s punk-funk sensibility and love of cowbells with Doug Lee’s love of wonky electronics and no-holds-barred disco. Certified banger!
!!! – MUST BE THE MOON [JUSTIN VANDERVOLGEN REMIX] (Warp Records, 2008)
A vintage remix from Justin’s days as part of !!!. Featuring Doug Lee hammering away at the organ, it’s a prime slice of hazy, vaguely Balearic disco-rock with a psychedelic twinge. Let’s all go to the moon!
Justin Van Der Volgen headlines Bedmo Disco Presents #003 at The Big Chill Bar in Bristol on Friday 20th June.