A great record for hands-on DJs
Joy O - 50 Locked Grooves
Joy O's 50 Locked Grooves, the third compilation of DJ-friendly loops on Poly Kicks, starts with what might be the most familiar dance music sample of the last decade: "We just used to like—". That, of course, being the snippet of a Source Direct interview that formed the hook for "Ellipses," a Joy O track forever seared into the brains of anyone interested in dance music circa 2011 / 2012. Of the 49 other locked grooves on this record, none strike such a nostalgic chord, except maybe the snippets from Joy O's 2011 "Sicko Cell," from which we get the line "I'm the information" (no "cocaine powder" this time). The rest are subtler ingredients: scuffling and scraping sounds, R&B moans, snippets of crowd noise and laugh track, or my personal favorite, a single inhale and exhale, each falling perfectly on the beat. All of them are around 133 BPM, simple enough to work with many different kinds of tracks, but with enough personality to subtly transform them. Great fun for the hands-on DJ, and a nice encouragement to play with records instead of just playing them.
Correction: This review originally said these locked grooves were "around 135 BPM," but, fun fact, all locked grooves must be exactly 133 1/3 BPM in order to fit one 4/4 bar on a record that plays at 33 1/3 RPM. Thanks to everyone who tipped us off on that.