The tautologous and over-used phrase ‘a DJ’s DJ’ may well have lost its meaning by now. But there are still a small handful of selectors whose impeccable tastes, mixing capabilities, and – most importantly – capacity to challenge an audience mark them out as more than just crate diggers. Joy Orbison, AKA Peter O’Grady, is one such figure.
Pushing himself to the forefront of the bass-heavy, post-dubstep UK club scene with his excellent debut Hyph Mngo/Wet Look 12” in 2009, he has since produced a number of propulsive, club-ready tracks in collaboration with Boddika, Kassem Mosse, and Pearson Sound for labels like Hotflush, Swamp 81, and Nonplus. While his productions are marked by a consistency of narrative and force, his DJ sets are altogether more unpredictable, but no less satisfying. Playing in the early hours of Houghton Festival this summer, Orbison opened with a spoken word poetry sample before launching into a series of writhing, insidious bass throbs and harsh percussive hits, keeping the crowd intrigued, moved, and ready for more. Now, he has produced a compressed insight into this club mentality with a release on the Dekmantel Selectors compilation series.
Following in the footsteps of previous selectors Motor City Drum Ensemble and Young Marco, Orbison’s LP is a tracing of the influence of UK club culture on his own artistry. Rather than tying together his eleven tracks by BPM or genre, the compilation is something of an autobiographical journey through Orbison’s formative musical experiences, encompassing garage, breakbeats, techno, and abstract poetics.
Read the review in Clash Magazine.
[This piece was published on 20/11/17]