Since his breakthrough in 2009, Peter O Grady has established himself as a leading figure within the UK dance music scene. Emerging from the post dubstep era, his output over the past 8 years gives an accurate illustration of the direction that dance music has taken to arrive at the darker, more bass heavy techno that he finds himself making now. Drawing influence from UK sounds - particularly garage, dubstep, jungle, house and techno, his productions are often difficult to pigeon-hole into specific genres.
While it could be argued that his entire discography is considered essential, we have done our best to choose just five.
His seminal 2009 breakthrough track, and one that is still so well received today. When the opening two organ notes drown out the slow building and subtle intro it's impossible not to crack a smile. The fairly simple beat is accentuated by a distorted female vocal sample and playful tambourines to create a sense of euphoria that was not often associated with the dubstep tunes that “Hyph Mngo” drew influence from. An unforgettable debut single that got everyone excited for his future output.
Joy O is renowned for using spoken word vocal samples and by far his most instantly recognisable use of this is on “Ellipsis”. The ‘we just used to like’ snippet is chopped from an old interview with jungle duo Source Direct, and is guaranteed to get stuck in your head. A powerful rumbling bassline intermittently makes way for euphoric rave style piano stabs to create a track which would be equally suited to a sun-drenched festival or a dingy basement.
Some of Joy O’s finest productions have come when teamed up with long standing pal Boddika on the pair’s own SunkLo imprint. Their excellent chemistry in the studio has resulted in some absolute gems and “Froth” sees their two styles marry together perfectly. A real tension builder with a driving beat interspersed with jittery vocal snippets and insistent snares and pads.
Big Room Tech House DJ Tool – TIP!
The bassline on “BRTHDTT” is nearly as ridiculous as the track’s title. Yet another infectiously memorable vocal sample, this time from R&B singer Tevin Campbell make for a ubiquitous hit that is still sending dancefloors into a frenzy today.
One of O’Grady’s most recent productions, released on Hinge Finger, the label he co runs with Will Bankhead. A real dancefloor weapon. On the face of it, “Off Season” appears to be a relatively straight forward breakbeat inspired drum track although it contains minor intricacies that you come to expect from his work. After spluttering into silence about halfway through, the weighty breaks and jungle-esque synth line come crashing back in for maximum dancefloor effect.
Joy O plays at Southampton’s Junk on Saturday 24th February alongside Jon Rust, and can also be seen at summer festivals including Hideout, Junction 2 and Leeds’ inaugural inner city electronic.
Photo courtesy of Joy O and Liaison Artists
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