- A decade, give or take, since each of them first made their mark, Hessle Audio and Joy O team up for the first time. Both label and artist have aged in a similar way. Where once they tore up rulebooks and defied genre classifications—the Discogs debate about what to call "Hyph Mngo" is worth a look—today they're more staid, delivering refined club records with more subtle breaks from convention. Transition 2 / Systems Align, a collaboration between Joy O and the sax player Ben Vince, continues in this vein. Both tracks are artistically mature, eminently playable and touched with an experimental streak.
The boldest thing about this record is Joy O's choice of collaborator. Ben Vince is a laptop-wielding sax player who explores the spectrum between jazz and experimental electronics—his next album, Assimilation, comes out later this month on Where To Now? and features guest appearances from artists like Micachu. He and Joy O riff off each other nicely, creating something neither could have done alone. On "Transition 2," Vince's sax swirls around a lithe minimal house beat, calling to mind the sunny, psychedelic vibe of peak-era Cadenza. "Systems Align" strikes a more ominous tone, with haunting wails and a tougher, more angular rhythm, but seems to occupy the same vast and sunny space as the A-side. You imagine both emanating over a windswept mountain range. Or, failing that, a dance floor at a left-of-center summer festival.
A Transition 2
B Systems Align