- A mythical dubplate finally lands. It was worth the wait.
- "Final Joust" is a mythical dubplate that seemed like it would never be released. (When Jam City put out 20 free tracks back in 2013, one fan asked, "Aw, why no 'Final Joust?'") You may have forgotten about it, but some UK dance music nerds have been caning its YouTube rips for years. As part of his reappearance on Twitter, Jam City shared a 320 MP3 of "Final Joust." It caused instant commotion from fans new and old. So how does it hold up?
"Final Joust" sounds relatively sparse, but there's still plenty going on. The snares are panned to the extreme left and right, giving you the impression you've been dropped in the middle of a huge soundstage. The basslines are like grime-inspired square waves rubbed raw, while the grunts and rollicking tom-toms recall the South African gqom sound that would rise to prominence in London just a few years later. (Maybe Jam City was an early adopter?) It's huge, spacious and deceptively slow, but never boring.
The smart sound design also hints at the moves Jam City made with his outstanding Classical Curves album, which helped influence the direction of club music for the rest of the decade. "Final Joust" might not be as mind-blowing, but it nevertheless captures an artist at his peak. It's as exciting now as it was years ago, a time when the possibilities for UK dance music seemed endless. With any luck, the attention might spur other artists to release some of their vault favourites, too.