Joe, Claptrap/Level Crossing

[Hessle Audio]


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Joe. With such a short and sweet name one might expect his music to be similarly simple, but these presumptions are turned upside down by his tunes. In fact, Hessle’s fourteenth release is some of the most clever music I’ve heard this year. Bundling together the quite popular styles of funky, juke and, well, flamenco, Joe has created some tightly wound dance music that contains as much tension as releases. His clamorous tracks are almost utilitarian but certainly not just tools for enterprising jocks. Despite their thin foundations, the contents of Claptrap/Level Crossing single can stand alone in DJs’ sets and for me have even emerged as pulse-pounding highlights. Few singles this year can move a crowd as adeptly as this.

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The most immediately striking aspect of “Claptrap,” and the one that’s sure to secure it’s place in DJ’s record bags, is its flurry of syncopated claps. Playing smartly against kicks, snare hits and backspins, “Claptrap” is a percussive monster whose few elements wiggle their way into your brain via your hips. Samples of snorts, coughs, whoops and background noise jabbed into its side only further encourage dancers not to wait for a hook and to get busy instead. The barrage of percussion continues on “Level Crossing,” beginning with a typewriter but soon expanding to nimble organ thrusts, whistles, cowbells and the rest of the kitchen utensil drawer spilled out in neat, rhythmic fashion. Dipping in and out of the 4/4 time signature at the behest of a blown out kick drum and sticky bass tones, the track never flags or grows tiresome for the ears (although it might push a few dancers to the edge of exhaustion). Both tunes are crisp, with abundant open space despite the many elements contained within. Joe’s efforts are not entirely innovative — thoughts of Untold’s rhythmic assaults spring to mind — but Claptrap/Level Crossing is nonetheless wholly refreshing and much more novel than his unassuming name.

paul frick  on July 13, 2010 at 9:37 AM

reminds me of a neptunes production.

Blaktony  on July 13, 2010 at 12:02 PM

I agree; clever & will stay in the DJ bag 4 a while 2.

ciao neder  on July 13, 2010 at 12:56 PM

claptrap is really very very very good. hessle brining the fresh flavours as ever.

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