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When it comes to electronic music, Bristol's history stands taller than most. Think back to the reggae/hip-hopsoundsystems sound of Smith & Mighty and Full Cycle's drum & bass legacy, right through to today's bass/ house innovation from Julio Bashmore, Eats Everything et al. Born and bred in the city, Jody Wisternoff's 25-year musical journey has had connections to just about every aspect in one way or another and every last influence both classic and contemporary - seeps into his refreshing debut artist album Trails We Blaze.
But while so many veterans lose their lust for musical discoveries, Wisternoff remains more inspired by new sounds than ever before. As anyone that listens to his monthly Intensified podcasts will know, the Bristolian's finger remains firmly on the pulse of all that is classy and cutting-edge in electronic music be it the classic Detroit techno of Carl Craig, the warm electronic grooves of Maceo Plex or the leftfield house shapes of Midland. Back in 1986, a precocious Wisternoff's started his journey by gatecreashing the finals of the DMC Hip Hop Championships at just 13 years old; later releasing a hip- hop track on Smith & Mighty's Three Stripe Records label, gigging with the Jungle Brothers and getting interviewed by Tim Westwood. Three years later, he was controlling the 5,000-strong crowd as a DJ at the famous 90s rave Universe, before helping to pioneer the early UK rave sound as part of West Country breakbeat outfit Sub Love (with Full Cycle's DJ Die, later a member of Roni Size's Reprazent crew).
By 1993, Wisternoff had hooked up with fellow Bristolian and superstar DJ Nick Warren to form Way Out West. In the years that followed, the duo pioneered a cinematic progressive breaks sound scoring a top 15 hit with The Gift in 1996. They have since notched up four top 40 hits and headlined Glastonbury's dance arena. As remixers, the sought-after pair have touched up classics from Orbital, Inner City and Sasha. Blending elements of house, nu disco, progressive, techno and bass, the upbeat Trails We Blaze condenses Jody's personal journey through music into 12 diverse electronic grooves; referencing his classic and contemporary musical loves.
Representing Jody's modern take on Balearic grooves, tracks like the How You Make Me Smile (feat. Pete Josef) and the nu-disco influenced Just One More are both soulful and sophisticated; perfect for balmy summer nights. The album isn't without its darker shades, though. Harking back to his years lost in Bristol bass bins, the hypnotic techno groover 95 and the hip-hop indebted Red Stripes both reference Jody's love of vintage jungle, while reworks of the Pete Tong-endorsed Starstrings' and the Beatport number 1 Cold Drink Hot Girl update two of his most classic solo tracks.
A journey that lives up to its title, Trails We Blaze is as clean as a mid summer sky, but still captures the complex beauty and deep textures of little fluffy clouds.
- 1 How You Make Me Smile Jody Wisternoff feat. Pete Josef 6:56 Buy
- 2 Back To Me Jody Wisternoff feat. Jonathan Mendelsohn 6:46 Buy
- 3 95 (Original Mix) Jody Wisternoff 6:36 Buy
- 4 Red Stripes Jody Wisternoff 6:31 Buy
- 5 Out Of Reach Jody Wisternoff feat. Jonathan Mendelsohn 5:50 Buy
- 6 Cold Drink, Hot Girl (Refix) Jody Wisternoff 7:49 Buy
- 7 Slowmotion Jody Wisternoff feat. Jonathan Mendelsohn 6:55 Buy
- 8 Starstrings (Revamp) Jody Wisternoff 6:32 Buy
- 9 Just One More Jody Wisternoff feat. Pete Josef 5:53 Buy
- 10 Babylon Calling Jody Wisternoff 5:25 Buy
- 11 Orinoco Jody Wisternoff 5:45 Buy
- 12 Trails We Blaze Jody Wisternoff 5:19 Buy
- 13 Lassoo (Original Mix) Jody Wisternoff 7:25