Joe – Untitled review

Having a standard, unmemorable production moniker is one thing. Naming, or not naming, the A-side of your release “Untitled”, is another. Yet this is how this elusive North London producer rolls, and, as we all know from the likes of Burial and Banksy, mystery invites interest and intrigue. Joe emerged last year with the incredible sounds of “Grimelight/Rut” on the famed Hessle Audio label, and now is ready to bring us his second 12” on Appleblim’s Apple Pips imprint.

Crackling into the audible range with delicately tapping breaks, bongo-thumping beats and soothing sonorous atmospherics, “Untitled” is a touching and melodic exploration into an inner musical consciousness. It’s percussive and tribal, with distinct inklings of fellow Hesslers Ramadanman and Pangaea in the rumbling bass and stripped back grooves of the piece. Deeply meditative at its core, “Untitled” is music to move your soul, yet it’s not completely removed from the dancefloor – an impressive achievement in itself to attain the fine balance.

“Digest”, on the flipside, immediately snaps into action, with sizzling synths, woodblock beats and abrasive chords capturing the attention and imagination from the off. Joe artistically shapes a jagged structure, incorporating raw, rugged patterns with off kilter rhythms and a detached but pacing energy. A glowing stream of bass flows beneath the main tune, creating a sense of fluidity amongst the ravaged soundscape above. Strangely, subtly captivating, it’s another finely crafted piece from a highly skilled producer. One thing’s for sure…he’s not your average Joe.

Review: Belinda Rowse