The shrew would have cushioned the blow?

February 15, 2010

Everyone agrees about Joy Orbison until they listen to him. “He’s going to big in 2010,” everyone says. It looks like they are probably going to be right. But once those hype-mongers have sat down and listened to the young Londoner’s work, opinion seems to split.

Expecting some sort of four-to-the-floor techno or jackin’ house that normally blows out clubs, they are faced with the anomalies of Peter O’ Grady’s blend of two-step, garage-fused, filter dubstep. Basically, undefinable music. As beautiful as it is complex, some people do not ‘get’ it. His music is not intended to be blasted out on Funktion 1s around the country for neon-clad ravers to skank to – it is much more valuable than that.

Track names that regularly omit vowels or are just completely irrelevant – The Shrew Would Have Cushioned The Blow – add to the hype around Mr O’Grady, but it somehow feels that the track names fit the songs. His work sits nicely alongside Four Tet, and Burial to an extent.

Straight-outta Croydon – where many of the dubstep kids seem to come from, and JLS, of course – Joy’s music is endearingly atmospheric to the point of balearic. The use of vocal samples suggests a likeness with delicate filter house but the erratic step of garage and dark synths give the music a much more, well, Croydon-esque, feel to it. The music feels very British.

Bizarre songs titles, a catchy name, and the music-world’s love of hype and rising stars means that Joy Orbison is a name on many lips, but it takes a lot more time than a fleeting prediction list to really get to grips with what his tracks have to offer.


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