Mystery-producer Joe’s discography is slim but impressive. HES025 is just his sixth 12″ in four years since his smashing debut Grimelight in 2009. Deftly working rhythm patterns and a percussive sample-adelia that few other producers seem interested in, he follows the lead of those early Plastikman releases and later Herbert’s best work. In terms of drum machine and sample minimalism his last 12″ for Hessle with Claptrap/Level Crossing was exceptional.
Slope starts where these two tracks left off and is his most Herbert-like production yet. Shuffling percussion like Akufen, a chorus of mechanical processed voices wail like an alarm that build before the kick drops and then its like an out of tune house track – a detuned series of loops on a broken synthesizer.
Maximum Busy Muscle is like a broken drum machine, looping on the half-bar in the mid 130s BPM range. Broken by a menacing parp and the occasional glissando of chimes, it gets more and more complex and is soon bustling along robotically with snippets of horns, gruff tiny pirate radio snippets, with every sound is deployed as a rhythmic element.
Recommended machine funk.