Tuesday, November 12, 2013

"Deserted Island"- Joker

Comebacks aren't easy to undertake. For most there's a single run up the mountain before the inevitable tumble, where you're lucky if you can clasp a branch on the way down. “When you fall off a horse, you get back on" is a comforting maxim in principle, but often cruel in practice. 

For shadowy British producer Joker, it would've been easy to lie down in the dirt after the critical beatdown 2011's The Vision took. His maximalist, purple-hued vision of dubstep/bass music was labeled "vane" and "vacuous". Rather than retreat after such a savaging, the Bristol-native was further emboldened. "Newham Generals", a springy malevolent number dropped in March and simultaneously expanded Joker's palette, while flattening every onlooker. "Deserted Island", his latest offering only continues the campaign. An opening gothic organ announces a hostile takeover, intent on burning the "Purple City" down and letting the ashes scatter in the wind. Now the drum hits are more organic, sounding like the conquering general is willing to get his hands dirty. Joker's vocal manipulations are frequently as haunting as they are head-nodding, and “Desert Island"s sputtering vocals fall somewhere in a murky middle. The glitch ridden track wonders aloud what Oval would sound like if they adapted a scorched earth policy. If one respite can be claimed it's the late-game harp flourishes, which dull the blunt-force of the track. Still it ensures expansion; proving Joker fully intends on reaching the summit once more.

Joker's new EP Headtop is out in December through Kapsize Recordings.


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