March 07, 2010

Artist Tip: Joy Orbison

Every once in a while a producer comes along who stands out like a bright shining beacon amongst the endless waves of bleak, grey, un-inspiring and un-memorable dancefloor tracks that get released in abundance every day online. This may sound like quite a cynical and generalised comment, and to some extent, it is. But, even though I often like the whole 'functional tool - the sums are bigger than their parts' approach to DJ'ing, I really have been scratching my head for quite some time over the last few years, asking myself; whether it be in clubs or even at home listening to sets etc...."when was the last time I heard an anthem?". You must know, one of those hairs on the back of neck, everyone unites in the club anthems.

Well let me explain a little bit about the guy behind one of those rare anthems..The story to the rise of the 22 year old producer and DJ from Croydon 'Joy Orbison' really began when Ben Ufo, the DJ and label boss of Hessle Audio (in my opinion one of the most forward thinking Bass music labels at the moment), ended one of his consistantly amazing recorded promo sets with the now number 1 track of 2009 (as voted by Fact Magazine) 'Hyph Mngo'. Ben Ufo is another guy I will talk about soon on here, but for now let's get back to some Joy.

Anyway this was the one track which stood out by a mile and had all Ben's fellow crew asking for copies within days of it dropping. With other big guns like Scuba, Appleblim and Peverelist all dropping this track left right and centre, it didnt take long to reach super hype status and reach the airwaves of all the major electronic music radio shows and online music mags. And it didn't take long for Scuba to snap this up on his label 'Hotflush', which then released it later in the year.

I must admit, when I first heard this track last year, I was quite reluctant to like it, because I really do hate hype. I even heard it dropped by Peverlist at the Bam festival here in Barcelona last year and even though it was an amazing set and the track really did sound big on that system, I was still quite wary of getting into it, just because it was being hyped so much. 

However as with most major anthems, sooner or later they grab you, and it really does get to a point where you just can't deny that this is just a massive massive track which really does provoke an amazing reaction on any dancefloor. What I love about this track, is that it really does transcend genre boundaries. You've had everyone from the house heads, techno boffs, garage boys and dubstep massive playing it, as it really doesn't quite sit perfectly in any of those fields, it's just very high quality, amazing dance music.

Right then, enough about Hyph Mngo, lets move onto the real end of the producer, because as we all know, lots of people in the past have had huge anthems, but have failed to live up to the hype after. I've been very interested in the progress of Mr Orbison since and have made it a priority to check out his new releases. And guess what....the guy is on it! He really has shown his production finesse with his follow up tracks. his latest release on the AUS label is an absolute gem of an EP which I seriously recommend you check out. The title track definitely has a more subtle feel to it than Hyph, but again the use of his snyths to create those warm textures and also the slickness and bounciness of his beat programming is again of the highest order. On a big system this will make even the most cynical of chinstrokers dance. However for me personally, its the B-side which really shines here. It has a more experimental approach to it's beat programming and track structure but it twists and turns like nothing I have heard in quite some time. Going from futuristic spaced out vibes, to deep house moods and back again all in the space of minutes, and a phat bass stab just to tickle the stomach along the way.

Again, as with most of the BamBam tips on here, I've posted a selection of my favourite Joy Orbison tracks for you to check out. And if this is something your feeling, I strongly recommend you purchase these tracks and be sure to keep an ear to the ground for some of his future works, because I've heard a few more future releases recently and they are taking it another step up. He's also playing at Sonar this year so if your about for the festival, again I can't recommend enough that you check him out!

The BIG one.....not much needs to be said about this, other than if your not familiar with this track yet, then turn this up loud, because it really is something special. The way the synths rise and dip throughout the track, the melody shift in the second half and of course, those beats!

An amazingly deep, sexy and slick version of the already massive track by Four Tet, 'Love Cry'. I heard Four Tet drop this in Barcelona a while back and it really did sound so crisp and sweet whilst loud, and it really does show the current sonic range that he has on offer at the moment.

Perhaps my favourite track by him at the moment. I just love the contrast between the futuristic spaced out elements and the classic deep house vocal's and vibe throughout the track. Definitely on a more experimental tip, but still highly danceable.

The more subtle, refined answer to Hyph Mngo, but hey this doesn't need to be a massive anthem, this is just high quality, highly emotive and danceable music from the man. Again, the synths are beautiful and the rhythms are so bouncy and danceable, amazing stuff.

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