In 20 years of DJing and production work the Idjut Boys – Daniel Tyler and Conrad McConnell – have never released a bona fide artist album. The closest they got was in 1999, a collaborative effort with Quakerman called Life – The Shoeing You Deserve, its title indicative of the duo’s light humour and carefree approach.
It is compilations that have been the name of the game up until now, with a couple of winning ‘Saturday Nite Live’ mixes for Nuphonic in the early 2000s. Through these they gained the reputation of a pair of fun loving funksters, with a penchant for spacey disco and the odd bit of psychedelia, which makes the Smalltown Supersound label their ideal and logical home.
There are few surprises on Cellar Door, but that comes as good news for those familiar with the boys’ work. This is music to kick back to, with some enjoyably quirky touches around the edges that stop it from becoming too close to the lounge or the mainstream. These nuances include the effortless cool of the piano solo added to For Kenny, its positive air becoming rather more touching when you realise the track is a tribute to sadly missed house DJ Kenny Hawkes.
Meanwhile the familiar chugging slow disco rhythm of Love Hunter creates a groove that Lindstrøm would be proud of, much closer to Oslo than Cambridge, where the duo met. There are some nice vocals from Sally Rodgers on Shine and The Way I Like It, which prove easy going initially but are deeply felt too. The bigger surprises come in Le Wasuk, which successfully takes the listener on a voyage through what can only be described as freeform ska, a label which isn’t too promising on the face of it, but proves surprisingly effective.
Each of the tracks has a friendly, carefree face, with the album beckoned in by a short instrumental interlude, Rabass, which gets reprised later on the way out as Jazz Axe. Throughout the Boys do their best to beckon in some Mediterranean temperatures, and because of their easy going nature and reluctance to force things, they comfortably succeed, creating some blissful but effortlessly funky music for sultry summer listening. Now all we need is the weather to go with it.