A year on since the young Doldrums label's first and last release ('Brkln Clln/J.Doe'), plus 8 months of silence O'Grady's superb 'The Shrew Would Have Cushioned The Blow' EP, both are back this week, and with real intention. J.O. has kept this new release very quiet, with the new singles being relatively unknown before yesterday's unveiling. The A-side is named 'BB' a track I had only previously head once in Joy's Sonar set. The B-side is labelled 'Ladywell', a number which hasn't been featured in any DJ sets at all to my knowledge. After initial listening, it becomes clear you're listening to something special here. Quality control is high, and this is a very different J.O. to what's gone before (especially 'Hyph Mngo/Wet Look' & 'Brkln Clln/J.Doe') in terms of style.
'BB/Ladywell' are without doubt his most house driven tracks to date, taking greater influence from a heritage of Detroit work that seems to have had some impact upon J.O., especially artists such as Theo Parrish, Omar-S, Marcellus Pittman, and a crop of new producers that includes the brilliant Kassem Mosse. Both tracks contain patient stripped 4/4 beats that provide a steady and uncompromising pulse, built upon with deep basslines, wonderful chord arrangements and vox'd vocals. It's a nod to Detroit house, yet done in such a way that it is truly original and is in keeping with a recognisable J.O. sound.
You can get 'BB/Ladywell' now on 12" from Honest Jons, although I would hurry as these are in huge demand and will be released in limited numbers. There is still no news as to whether they will be given an MP3 release. I shall keep you informed. You can also check out previews through the Honest Jons website, the only place you may do so. Sleeve artwork by Will Bankhead from The Trilogy Tapes, excellent work as per usual.
Doldrums 003 is a release that needs no introduction, with Braiden's 'The Alps' one of the most highly rated tracks of the year. Steve Braiden (Rinse FM/DJ/Photographer, and now producer) has been renowned as one of London's most promising DJ's for quite a while now, and he makes the progression to an exciting producer with ease on the basis of the quality of 'The Alps'. A track which seems to seep between boundaries of UK funky, house and techno, it's impossible to define. It's a dark affair, something which the manipulated disembodied vocals and synth chords contribute to alongside a bass heavy 4/4 funky beat. This atmosphere is reflected brilliantly in the video for the track which you can view below. Edited black and white archive footage of what seems to be an industrial nuclear power plant helps to establish a dark, structured tone, a feeling which 'The Alps' evokes in many ways. 'The Alps', also backed with a well received Kassem Mosse fix, can now be purchased at Honest Jons, but make sure you invest sooner rather than later. Previews can be heard on the website as well as in the video below (although the actual mix is over 7 mins long). Thank you Doldrums.
Also, last night I heard new J.O. material in a brand new Ben UFO mix. The title is 'kissmequik'. The production is out of this world. Tear jerking, trust me. Well it was for me at least.