Juga-Naut - Bon Vivant

Released 14/12/18 Reviewed by Big Ste 

Genre : Hip Hop 

Bon Vivant, the French notion of “living good”, must surely be the mind-set of Nottingham native Juga-Naut, finally relaxing satisfied into whichever seat is most used for reflection and introspection, as the latest album from the tireless beat ‘n’ spit merchant delivers a journey of silky smooth beats laced with lyrical punch and pomp.

An upbeat and energetic addition to a recommended catalogue, Bon Vivant sees Mr Jugz bringing raw wordplay against an eclectic backdrop of those famous 90s kicks and sticks, haunting piano, garage elements and most noticeably in early highlight “Crispy”, an occasional synth-laden pre-Artist Prince vibe.

The Joe Buhdha produced “Off The Wall” announces itself with sirens of jazz straight out of the swankiest 70s crime and casinos movie, and never lets the bright lights and grand aura go. The same applies for “Silk Portraits” which sees fellow Nottingham mainstays Scorzayzee and Vandal Savage jump on-board.

“Brown Stone” adds the hypnotic piano right on cue, a heavyweight Micall Parknsun creation allowing Jugz words to pull no punches, without straying too far from the upbeat formula that keeps this record firmly entrenched in positivity and bravado. A dreamy up-tempo effort curiously titled “M1 North” and co-produced by Stickman is also noteworthy for its nod to the early 2000s UK Garage scene.

Bon Vivant is a multi-genre variety performance with substance, showcasing Juga-Naut’s flexibility in his craft and a man comfortably aware of his vision and experimentations of styles. Tight, on point, only reinforcing the stockpiling evidence of the paradigm shift towards Britain’s role as the modern standard-bearer of the game. Que ça dure, indeed.