Like all good Hessle Audio artists, Joe is a specialist in cult classics.
Hiding behind an un-Googleable moniker and a dimly-lit press shot, information about the producer is scarce save for a handful of interviews and a largely inactive Facebook account. His releases come sporadically, with just nine 12”s to his name in as many years. But when everything he touches turns to gold and every record is a buy on sight, who would want it any other way?
Tracing a line from his early dubstep productions (Grimelight, Claptrap) through to his more recent house explorations (R.E.J Bit, Thinking About You) there are two clear common threads. Firstly, Joe tracks bounce. Driven by off-kilter, clattering drums, whatever tempo or groove they follow his rhythms pop. Secondly, they’re enduringly strange. Whether it’s the broke-down fairground melody of Punters Step Out, the discordant droning crescendo of Slope or the cartoon sound effects that fill Tail Lift, Joe’s track’s share a distinctly eccentric character that makes them instantly recognisable and utterly unique.
As his recent output would suggest, his mix for us draws largely on a collection of oddball disco and percussive house jams. Throughout, there’s a clear appreciation of the weird and wonderful, particularly towards the middle as he breaks away to showcase a slew of contemporary cuts – LOFT’s funemployed and LSDXOXO’s Burn the Witch being particular highlights.
It’s telling of Joe’s stringent commitment to quality control that, in a candid email to us, he describes the mix as “at times rough around the edges”. We’re sure you’ll agree that, for all its eccentricities, it’s anything but.
Joe plays at Reef, Berlin, 22-23 September