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In a world in which trance DJs with names like Ferry, Armin and Tiësto plead for votes in the DJmag Top 100, it’s nice to know there are other, stranger, galaxies circling the more secular and mundane one in which we live. One such universe, Planet Idjut, is occupied by two otherwise unemployable characters called Daniel (Tyler) and Conrad (McConnell). It circles the other planets suspiciously, unwilling (or perhaps more pertinently, unable) to conform to the mores and habits of other mere mortals.
They are, it is true, DJs just like the aforementioned Tiësto and company, but where most are happy to serve up a formulaic and entirely predictable menu to keep the happy E hordes of Ibiza content, the Idjut Boys play, as Conrad once quipped, “Whatever we can get away with.” That could include anything from 70s jock metallists Nazareth to Phil Collins interspersed with perhaps some Underground Resistance for light relief, swiftly followed by the Temptations, something which makes their DJ sets non-conformist, occasionally brilliant, sometimes floor-clearing, but always interesting.
Amazingly, despite a 20-year career they have never produced an artist album. Until now. Those expecting formulaic disco-not-disco floor-screamers will be disappointed. Many months in the making, many collaborators in its gestation, this is what the Idjut Boys sound like strapped to an Eames chair, cheroot in hand, while their pet tiger Keith sits by the hearth fire. “What we’ve tried to do is make an LP, four tracks a side on vinyl,” reports Conrad. “You stick it on your stereo, have a cup of coffee and read the paper. When it’s finished you stick the other side on. So we’ve made an LP in the traditional way.”
Although the album was made with the armchair rather than the podium in mind, their approach to music-making as not altered at all. Although neither plays an instrument, they use the mixing board as their Stratocaster or Rhodes, often adding effects live as the song plays. “We do lots and lots of versions and mixes,” says Conrad. “Then we edit stuff from one into another. We try and use as many different sound sources and lots of different musicians. We’ve tried to make this sound as good as possible, so we’ve gone all over the place recording things, like Oslo for Bugge Wesseltoft’s piano, our friend Andy Hopkins’ for the drums and guitar and writing with Sally and Steve from A Man Called Adam in Cornwall.”
If this gives you the impression the duo have settled down, bought themselves knitted Arran sweaters, flutes and a subscription to Wallpaper*, you’d be wrong. Although the Idjuts are keen for the album to be a listening experience, they are already champing at the bit to start making dance versions (a “drum and bassy dub” of ‘Going Down’ is already in the can). “Hopefully enough of them will buy the LP and think, “Yeah I don’t mind wasting some more money on you fucking idiots.”” Or Idjuts, as the case may be. (Bill Brewster)
3. One For Kenny
4. Going Down
5. The Way I Like It
7. Le Wasuk
8. Jazz Axe