A mythical dubplate finally lands. It was worth the wait.
"Final Joust" sounds relatively sparse, but there's still plenty going on. The snares are panned to the extreme left and right, giving you the impression you've been dropped in the middle of a huge soundstage. The basslines are like grime-inspired square waves rubbed raw, while the grunts and rollicking tom-toms recall the South African gqom sound that would rise to prominence in London just a few years later. (Maybe Jam City was an early adopter?) It's huge, spacious and deceptively slow, but never boring.
The smart sound design also hints at the moves Jam City made with his outstanding Classical Curves album, which helped influence the direction of club music for the rest of the decade. "Final Joust" might not be as mind-blowing, but it nevertheless captures an artist at his peak. It's as exciting now as it was years ago, a time when the possibilities for UK dance music seemed endless. With any luck, the attention might spur other artists to release some of their vault favourites, too.