The label compilation can be a very big deal in marking out the story of a serious imprint. Since its inception in 2009, there’s no doubt that Boddika has been steering his treasured Nonplus stable with a razor-sharp instinct that has seen it become one of the defining outposts of the dubstep fallout. Rasping electro has sat next to deluded deep house, half-step drum & bass alongside decaying techno, rumbling 140isms against churning 110 bpm grooves.
The Boddika-helmed Nonplus have just announced details of their first label compilation, featuring new and exclusive tracks from the likes of Joy Orbison, Four Tet, Kassem Mosse, Pearson Sound and Martyn.
Back in 2009 Simon Reynolds derided Joy Orbison’s 2009 breakthrough track “Hyph Mngo” as “moist n’ milky minimalism”, implying that he’d rather be “aving it apeshit” to 16-Bit’s “Chainsaw Calligraphy” than dancing to Orbison’s more polite hybrid of dubstep and garage. If the collision of Reynolds’ beloved hardcore continuum and Orbison’s lighter influences was pronounced in “Hyph Mngo”, it practically slaps you in the face on “Ellipsis”. Originally appearing at the beginning of 2011 via the now standard YouTube rip, the track has become another totemic production which a new wave of young producers are attempting to clone with results that yield ever diminishing returns.
Joy Orbison mania was the running theme of this week’s events, with one of his most eagerly awaited tracks and a further collaborative 12″ with Boddika and Pearson Sound coming into our hands, and promptly leaving them again.
As fun as “Swims” was, when it arrived last month it almost felt like it had already passed its sell by date. Released through Boddika and Joy Orbison’s newly created Sunklowun imprint, “Froth” and “Mercy” arrive at just the right point to avoid the same fate. But as important as timing is in rescuing these tracks from the fad vacuum, they’re quite different; whilst “Swims” revelled in its throwaway nature, these productions have obviously had more time spent on them, something that Boddika himself has suggested.
Many may have been surprised to hear that the first release on Joy Orbison and Will Bankhead’s new Hinge Finger imprint was going to be from Workshop associate Madteo, given Orbison’s recent forays into more abrasive territory with Boddika. However Orbison and Bankhead have had a longstanding admiration for the German imprint, with Kassem Mosse being chosen in 2010 to remix Braiden for Orbison’s Doldrums imprint, and a cassette mix from Mosse being released through Bankhead’s Trilogy Tapes imprint.
The raft of material recorded between Boddika and Joy Orbison will soon start the transition from grainy YouTube rips to actual physical releases with the launch of a series of 12″s on the newly formed Sunklowun label.
“I’m not into stuff that’s over-produced, it’s very uninteresting to me.” So states Al Green, the man behind some of the most distinctive, visceral electronic music to grace our ears in recent times. One listen to any of the plentiful Boddika tracks that have been released for labels such as [Naked Lunch], Swamp81 or his own Nonplus, and you can instantly feel where he’s coming from. The kickback against crisp and clean digital production that typified last year’s dance music output is no more apparent than on the raw, abrasive drums n’ synths that characterise the Boddika sound.
The arrival of Boddika and Joy Orbison’s “Swims” will probably end up being Swamp81′s biggest release of the year, but those who have heard it will know it was really the biggest release of last year. Unleashed on the world via Rinse FM at the end of March 2011, and then promptly ripped onto YouTube by a number of bedroom fanatics eager to bask in its reflected glory, it’s a landmark track for the nebulous “UK Bass” scene, whose name dare not be spoken at risk of incurring the wrath of Ben UFO on Twitter.
Like most of the artists on Hotflush, Peter O’Grady understands that diversity is key to longevity. Having scored a huge breakthrough with 2009’s “Hyph Mngo”, it would have been relatively easy for O’Grady to retrace his steps, sit back and wait for the dollars to roll in. However, he’s chosen to do the exact opposite, and this follow-up for Paul Rose’s label, delivered under the truncated Joy O moniker, is a less immediate affair. If “Ladywell/BB” signalled his intentions to take a house-centric turn, then “Jels” & “Wade In” is O/Orb/Orbison tackling Detroit in his own inimitable style. Indeed, despite being so strongly entwined in the UK bass narrative, the staccato drums, deep chords and, even the way the mournful synth line hangs in the air above these components, all sound inextricably linked to the Motor City.
There is a return to more familiar territories on “Jels”, but with a twist; the stop-start drums resemble “Hyph Mngo” as does the breathy vocal sample that mouths the word ‘turn’ throughout the arrangement. Once again though, O’Grady looks to other sources and the evil acid line that climaxes in unison with a series of doubled up claps, is lifted straight from the Chicago house producer’s handbook. He may not be about to give Hotflush another crossover record, but creatively Joy O’s star continues to ascend – and surely that’s all that really matters.
Joy Orbison returns to Hotflush, the imprint responsible for his landmark debut release Hyph Mngo, next month, switching up his name to Joy O to drop two thumping tracks that further demonstrate his growing indulgence in house and techno.
Fresh from helping Juno Plus to celebrate a year in existence in fine style down Curtain Rd, our friends Firecracker have sent out fresh details of their new sub label Unthank, with the first release a three track EP from the mysterious Bakey Ustl due next month.
Tri Annual party types Eastern Electrics today revealed that Thomas Fehlman, Scuba and theWighnomy Brothers are amongst the acts to share billing with Michael Mayer, Justin Martin and Joy Orbison for their London August bank holiday party.
For those of you who won’t be roaming the streets of Barcelona this weekend at the Sonar festival, we’ve got a pair of tickets to give away for the excellent Doldrums showcase on Saturday, June 19.Read the rest of this entry »