“Joe is back” are the only words attached to the ‘Tail Lift / MPH’ press pack, and genuinely, that is all we really need to know. Finally back with a solo effort after 2013’s ‘Punters Step Out‘ – unless you consider the one sided 12” re-edit of Bobby McFerrin a proper release, the producer with the everyday name steps up to deliver the 32nd number in Hessle Audio’s catalogue and dishes out another round of his distinctive, sparse, percussive, and often full of humour UK-flavoured dance music.
‘Tail Lift’, the more amiable and DJ-friendly track in the batch, finds Joe dealing with what he has already proved to be one of his strongest assets: percussions. Over almost 6 minutes the British producer filters in and out full layers of percussion above a steady kick, joined in parts by odd and somehow jazzy chords. Obviously, this kind of groove has a strong effect on a sound system, and we can all expect to hear this cut go on heavy rotation in the clubs this year.
And yet, the real treat is the B-side ‘MPH’, the track that has been gathering dust in the USB sticks of Joe’s Hessle peers and the extended UK crew for more than three years already, but still seems to have aged like a fine wine. Even though it isn’t Joe’s first incursion into slower tempos the result is still dissimilar in comparison to ‘MB’ (released via Hemlock in 2012). The groove slowly develops, building upon a piano staccato and a typical “Joe-ish” drum loop until a weird and stirring side-chained synthline comes along and gets the energy of the piece off to a whole different sphere.
Whether he’s serious or cynical, it seems as if Joe simply keeps doing his own unique thing, staying in anonymity while dropping some of the most interesting cuts to come out of the Hessle camp. We can only hope there’s more to come in the pipeline.
Tail Lift / MPH is released October 13th, pick up your copy from Juno.
A1 Tail Lift