Joy Orbison – Red Velve7
We’re not going to lie, this one slipped under our radar. A new Joy Orbison track that morphs from droning ambient into a full on dancefloor rager? Orbison’s own statement that he’s “sitting on quite a lot of unreleased music”? It’s shocking that we’re only getting to this track now, but here we are. Last year saw Orbison release his long awaited debut LP, Still Slipping Vol.1 which for all accounts was a testament to his enduring reign as one of the most distinct tastemakers in UK club music. The mixtape was an apparent labour of love, stitching together recorded clips of Orbison’s friends and family in conversation with passages of hazy ambience and his brand of experimental garage and house. red velve7, released via XL Recordings last November, similarly melds Orbison the sound designer with Orbison the dancefloor provocateur, only this time minus the semantics that he often risked losing himself to on Still Slipping Vol. 1.
Opening with a symphony of drone synths, bright and humming, red velve7 sets itself up by establishing an aura of intrigue and drama.In fact, this may be Orbison as his most theatrical in recent memory. The intrigue quickly shifts to anticipation as Orbison’s sliding drones become more siren-like and urgent, until finally they crescendo and drop into propulsive two step. It’s a version of garage that makes room for Orbison’s drone orchestra to continue whining in the background, joined by reversed, sped up, and chopped vocal samples. There’s something awe inspiring about the track’s tonality, structured to leave you gobsmacked and then wanting more. It’s perhaps no surprise that Orbison revealed the track is “basically me on my decks staring at my bedroom wall when I was a kid, wishing I was doing my big intro on the valve sound-system (instead of clanging it up on my belt driven numarks).” The energy of this visualisation is palpable, and it’s not difficult to imagine Orbison opening a set with red velve7 before surging into Hyph Mngo or born slipping.
With more standalone singles seemingly confirmed to be on the way, it looks like 2022 will be the year of Orbison. If last year’s re-introduction to his mastery was just a warm up, then we’re bracing ourselves for an inferno. Listen to red velve7 below.
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