Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Vice v7n11 Band Piece: Joy Orbison


Joy Orbison Made The Tune Of The Year Without Even Trying

Back when we featured Skream in the Horror Issue of Vice way back in 2005 no one gave a crap about dubstep. You could go to FWD at Plastic People on a Thursday and there would be twenty people nodding their heads in the dingy basement.
Nowadays what came bubbling out of Croydon in the early 2000’s is the nations default main room club music. Skream’s remix of La Roux’s “In For The Kill” basically launched pointy hair smurf’s whole career and FWD got so popular that it had to move to Fridays before moving to Sundays in an attempt to shake off the coked up, white-shirts-and-shiny-shoes, weekend warrior brigade.

With the need to move huge rooms filled with gurning , sweaty masses of people much of what made the sound good in the first place has been lost along the way. Loefah’s stripped back masterclasses in minimal halfstep, the swinging 2-step of Horsepower Productions and the weird synth explorations that typified Kode9 have all been thrown overboard in favour of huge, derivative, squelching mid-range wobblers. Walk into a rave these days and it’s like being in the middle of a who-can-build-the-biggest-sonic-bouncy castle competition. Last time I checked Caspa and Rusko were way out in front.

Praise Todd Edwards above and Ghost Records almighty then for a bunch of young kids like Ben UFO, Untold and Ramadanman who are as much in thrall to Omar S and Basic Channel as they are understanding that the roots of the music they make lies in J Da Flex and El-B as opposed to Bad Company and Twisted Individual. Pick up a release on Hessle or 2nd Drop and you’ll soon get the idea.

“Hyph Mngo” came out of nowhere to close Ben UFO’s Fabric Live mix and suddenly this wave of producers had their anthem and the rest of us had a hands down track of the year. It was made by a guy called Joy Orbison who it turns out is actually called Pete and he has a record label called Doldrums that you should all start getting exited about.

Vice: Hi there. I feel a bit silly addressing you as Joy. Can I call you Roy?
Joy Orbison:
It’s OK you can call me Pete. I just chose the name because I liked the sound of it. It wasn’t really anything to do with Roy Orbison.

Ok, how did a skinny white kid called Pete wind up making bass music?
I got in to drum&bass when I was like 10 or 11 mainly because my uncle made it, he’s called Ray Keith.

Ray Keith is your uncle?
Yeah. I thought everyone knew that already. He probably only actually listened to my stuff about a month ago though. For years I was into punk and collecting 7”s and I’ve always liked bands. It is difficult explaining that you like Josef K to people who just assume you are a garage kid. I started producing mainly because I was DJing and no one was putting out the kind of stuff that I wanted to play.

The day you made “Hyph Mngo” did you feel all inspired like Keats and know that you were about to make this big piece of work?
Not really it was one of the first things I made actually on my really basic set up. No one that comes round can believe how crap my speakers are. They are just kind of PC Workshop ones. It’s really cack-handed. I keep getting offered all these huge amounts to do remixes for people like VV Brown and I don’t think people realise how basic the approach is.

So you made everyone’s favourite tune of the year by mistake on some PC Workshop speakers?
Sort of, yes.



“Hyph Mngo/Wet Look” is available now on Hot Flush Records. “BRKLN CALLN/J DOE” is forthcoming on Doldrums.

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