Joe - Punters Step Out

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  • Joe's experiments with UK dance music seem to have extended to gutting its very foundations. "This is the hook of this track," intones a deadpan female voice on "Club Scare," "the hook is the bit you pay attention to." What you actually pay attention to is Joe's percussion, curiously filtered and clipped and arranged into sparse patterns, the beats' subtle swing rendering the atonal vocal ever more ironic. It'd be easy to write off "Club Scared" as a DJ tool: this stark, percussive music has an obviously utilitarian quality, there's also something subtle at work, a self-referential humour in the vocal countered by the almost introspective production. UK funky mutation "Punters Step Out" has a melodic hook but it's thoroughly bizarre. It opens with skeletal percussion and a series of melancholic chords that ascend slowly and then disappear into a bed of rustling sound, only to reemerge as an organ pattern that wouldn't sound out of place at a haunted circus. It lacks the verbal signposts of "Club Scared," but "Punters Step Out" is every bit as self-referential, breaking its fourth wall with a pause and rewind. It's as though Joe has taken the constituent elements of dance music apart and put them back together deliberately incorrectly. These tracks may be experimental and eminently suited to the club, but they're also endlessly compelling, demanding multiple revisits, if only to delight in their eccentricity.
  • Tracklist
      A Punters Step Out B Club Scared