Tuesday, 30 November 2010

BB / Ladywell // Joy Orbison // Doldrums

Joy Orbison has kept a relatively low profile this year after the ridiculous amount of attention he got last year from Hyph Mngo. This is his first release since The Shrew Would Have Cushioned the Blow, which featured a much less immediate sound, but nevertheless had the tell tale signs of the talented producer. Also on that EP was an remix by Actress of The Shrew, which completely inverted the 2step track and transformed it into a stretched-out house tune, with all the weirdness and confidence of Actress' work.

That seems to have rubbed off on Joy Orb as BB and the flip Ladywell are almost unrecognisable as he has taken a step away from his 2step roots and created two gigantic house hits. BB is the most Actress influenced as a pitch-shifted vocal sample of someone muttering "they got us man", its seriousness is completely incongruous to the rest of the music, exactly like the vocal sample on The Shrew remix. It actually seems oddly similar to Jamie xx's remix of Gil-Scott Heron. The track has a very prominent 4/4 beat, which is to be expected, that acts as a skeleton for an immaculate bubbling synth riff, which is playful and flirts with a syncopated snare. The only remnant of the old Joy Orb is the distant rising synth.

Ladywell starts off very sparsely, it chugs along with a standard 4/4 beat and simple bass line, but this is used as a framework for the copious and idiosyncratic sounds he throws on top. First a vocal sample (this time singing) is dialed in with a simple riff, almost like a ringtone. But the initial simplicity becomes chaotic as spiralling synth riffs join, sometimes they mix together, sometimes they don't; it is very spontaneous and organic. That with the snare being introduced out of nowhere, the track soon becomes very unpredictable. Unfortunately it ends too soon, but both tracks show an amazing new side to Joy Orb, especially after some dismissed him as a one-hit-wonder.



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