Sharam Jey: Bunny Tiger Vol. 3
Bunny Tiger

Sharam Jey's no upstart: active since the early ‘90s, he's issued two studio albums, various mix compilations, and more than 100 releases on labels such as Nervous Records, Off Records, his own King Kong Records, and many more. In addition to being a sought-after remixer for the likes of Moby, Gossip, Faith No More, Faithless, and others, Jey also oversees Bunny Tiger, which within a year of its existence made it into the Beatport label top 10 and had multiple top ten tracks appearing in the Beatport nu-disco chart.

Listeners with an appetite for Bunny Tiger's sound will find much to like about the label's third collection, given that it features contributions from label players like Kolombo, Tapesh, LouLou Players, Vanilla Ace, and Teenage Mutants and works six unreleased cuts into its seventeen-track mix. Strongly arguing on Bunny Tiger Vol. 3's behalf is that it's rich in melody and hooks and thus could not possibly be dismissed as an amelodic and overly repetitive techno mix; even in its lesser moments, it's nu-disco material oozes personality and with all of the tracks in the 120 BPM vicinity, the ninety-three-minute mix exudes a consistent and relaxed vibe that adds to its appeal.

Credited to Jey and Danito & Athina, “All Night Long” draws the listener in beautifully with a house-tinged body-mover that's warm, sensual, and quietly radiant in the best way possible, not to mention a choice scene-setter for Jey and Night Talk's fabulous “Wanted You To Love Me”; an enticingly soulful and bleepy vocal jam, the tune's powered by a slithering bass line that suggests the cut would sound equally at home on Crosstown Rebels as Bunny Tiger. One might expect a drop in quality to occur, but the third cut, Jey and Jon Sine's “Connections” (featuring Frankie Balou), keeps the soul-funk fire burning at a high level, as does the later “Touch Ur Body,” a tasty synth-funk vocal cut from LouLou Players and Kolombo.

Some inspired touches help certain tracks stand out. “Down Low” (credited to Jey, Sammy W, Alex E, and Less Is More), for example, sweetens its dizzying mix of monotone MC flow and staccato synth swirl with sleigh bells, of all things, while the chunky synth bass in “Touch Ur Body” gives the tune a nostalgic, ‘80s feel. On the downside, a few tracks sound a little too generic for comfort (e.g., Jey and Tough Love's “Rock The Disco!”), and lyric cliches mar a few cuts, too (for instance, Kolombo's “Throw Your Hands” is dragged down by the tired line “Now throw your hands in the air / And wave them like they just don't care”). But while there are blemishes, the highs outnumber the lows on Jey's pumping, party-styled mix; furthermore, striking a comfortable balance between populist and left-field tendencies isn't an easy thing to do, but the mix manages it more often than not. Still, a few more cuts at the level of “All Night Long” and “Wanted You To Love Me” wouldn't have been unwelcome.

March 2014