KID SHIRT

Friday, June 04, 2010

JOE: "UNTITLED"

On Appleblim's mighty Applepips label comes "Untitled" by Joe from the Hessle Audio crew. The track is like a weird audio-illusion, tho I can't quite figure out which direction the trick mirror is facing; its own spaciousness keeps me guessing: is this a minimal-ish mix that presents a mirage of biziness; or is the tune in fact programatically complex, but tricksy beat-spacing makes me think it's wide-open and stripped back?

Ah, who cares.

I like the little smears of crackle - like someone trying to Moonwalk in velcro slip-ons on a gravel path - and the tiny, almost unobtrusive Worrellesque mod.wheel synthfonk interjections: blink n you (almost) miss 'em. And there's a slooow dnwards-sliding organ glide that sounds, well - not ominous, but ever so slightly worrying to my ears: it's like some post-techno equivalent of a Laurie Johnson music cue from some old House of Hammer TV production...not so much "don't go down into the cellar!", but more a sort of shorthand for, "there's something a bit off about the next-door neighbour's wife". Which is nice n subtly creepy rather than heavy-handed.

"Subtle" is a good word for a lot of the production chops on show here: repeated plays uncover all sorts of things - sounds that you didn't necesarily notice the first few times. It's confident-sounding and forward-thinking, rather than flashy. Quirkily seductive. The bass pulls you forward, into the sound-picture without dominating proceedings.

I like the fact that someone seems to come home half-way through the track and take their coat off in the hall.

In someways I like the sheer lurchiness of the flip-side "Digest" more. I certainly didn't expect to hear that gong-stretched-into-a-flute sound. Like the A-side, the percussion programming is v. inventive - a real joy to behear - and there's some cool fake-electric-piano moves on show, but it's the rhythmic curve-balls - the unexpected staggers, shifts and sways that I'm digging here.

Good stuff.