Some artists are so immersed in music history that they never manage to escape the tractor beam of their own influences, ultimately just turning out slightly refracted versions of the past. And then there’s Joy Orbison, the producer and DJ who has interpolated drum and bass, garage and dubstep in such novel ways that it’s made him one of the most singular, talismanic talents of his age.
If there were anyone who remained immune to Joy Orbison’s appeal after the release of 2009’s titanic Hyph Mngo, then maybe they were more convinced by the slew of club-crushing tracks he released in subsequent years on choice labels including Swamp 81, Hotflush and Aus Music. Ever since the release of the era-defining Hyph Mngo, he’s been an elusive presence, choosing to focus on releasing limited runs of work and occasional, high-quality records which meld two-step rhythms with tightly squashed 8-bit basslines and melancholy vocals into a blueprint for future house music. As a DJ, he’s got a similar ear for quality, which he demonstrated when he played at the 2018 edition of Junction 2. We can’t wait to welcome him back so we can hear what new directions he’s taken since he last brought his cracked mirror of snaking rhythms and sounds to Boston Manor Park.