Disco’s spinning glitterball shows no sign of slowing. Across two preceding albums, feel-good west London electronica outfit Jungle have tended towards tasteful, club-oriented soul. If their sound has sometimes strayed close to high-end muzak, their videos have kept bevies of dancers in high-energy, expressive work.
Loving in Stereo now finds Josh Lloyd-Watson and Tom McFarland hitting the neon dancefloor hard. This album’s first single, Keep Movin’, packs in all the 70s signifiers: scything strings, falsetto vocals and pumping groove. Album closer Can’t Stop the Stars adds parping horns and omnipresent shimmer.
But there’s an important sidestep here too, into collaborations and more organic source material: rolling, funky breaks (Talk About It, Fire, No Rules), guitar pop (Truth) and old-school hip-hop (Romeo, perhaps paying dues to Gorillaz, whom Jungle have long resembled). Inflo, the producer behind Sault, worked on Jungle’s previous LP and chips in again here; Lloyd-Watson seems to have figured in the credits on Sault’s last outing. And while Loving in Stereo palpably lacks Sault’s moral fire, their soundscapes do align very pleasurably indeed.