Joker - Top of the Game EP
Joker's "Gully Brook Lane" has been getting battered on London's grimier pirate radio shows for over a year now, and has taken a painfully long time to make it to a vinyl release. Praise be, then, to Plastician, whose Terrorhythm label has sorted things out. A young Bristol producer, Joker is one of the most melodic grime producers around, following in the footsteps of the likes of Ruff Sqwad's Rapid and Dirty Danger and Roll Deep's Target and Danny Weed. Like those big names, Joker likes to get swirly with his synths. "Gully Brook Lane" blows up G-Funk vamps to gargoyle shapes and pitch-shifts them so far that they spin off in a blur of squeals. Underneath lies a militant, hard-stepping bassline, pacing up and down to keep things heavy while Joker has his flights of melodic fancy.
B-Side "Retro Racer" puts an old arcade game melody through Joker's wild-pitching, the bitty synths melting and rippling over beats that wheeze asthmatically. It sounds fucked, but in all the good ways; old computers broken down and then brought back to wild-eyed life.