Friday, September 11th, 2009

Joy Orbison – Hyph Mngo

Yes, that really is the best available photo…


Pete Baran: If I was reviewing the name, I would suggest Joy Orbison were the Helen Love who sang in Welsh (or at least I would if the song was called “Hyph Mngo Joey Ramone”). They sound NOTHING LIKE THAT. Instead they remind me pleasingly of The Black Dog, who never had a hit single, and neither will Joy Orbison. But then nor did Helen Love. It all makes me think that we haven’t quite got sorted out what a nineties revival would consist of yet. It should have stuff like this in it.

Anthony Easton: At the CNE this year, my friend Pat said that if he was ever a dance musician the highlight of his career would be having a song playing during the polar express. This would totally work, and I expect it on the midway this year.

Chuck Eddy: True. Adieu. Adieu. Adieu. Adieu. I drew. I drew. I drew. I drew. A jew. A jew. A jew. A jew. And you. And you. And you. And you. Achoo. Achoo. Achoo. Achoo. Whew. Over two or three repeated notes of pipe organ halfway lifted from “Love Lies Bleeding” by Elton John. Until it isn’t. At which point other stuff happens. I don’t get it.

John Seroff: I’m an all-day sucker for slow burn ambient into IDM into house tracks that layer beat &then vocal &then synth &then presets &then hook &then effects like an audio pousse-café, &then skim &then replace &then new beat &then new hook &then shuffle &then repeat ad infinitum. “Hyph Mngo” doesn’t have the complexity or joy of, say, Orbital’s “Lush“, but it’s as proper a mixtape Track One or a 9:00pm opening doors song as I’ve heard. Lots of uninhibited, open-ended promise.

Martin Kavka: When someone figures out how to put a vocal on top of this, it will go Top 10. But in the meantime, waiting to get to the emotional high of the huge slurpy chords from 2:00-2:30 is a wee bit boring.

Alex Macpherson: “Hyph Mngo” cuts up and loops an R&B vocal sample over a swaying, insistent two-chord riff and warm clouds of atmosphere; the physical effect is disorientating, like a momentarily overwhelming embrace, which is why “Hyph Mngo” slays on a club soundsystem; but it’s the aching emotion, all the more keenly felt for its oblique wordlessness, which lingers. Along with Ikonika, Guido, Joker and a host of others — even, from across the pond, Starkey and Pantyraid — Joy Orbison is at the forefront of some truly wondrous music-making right now.

Mallory O’Donnell: One thing you really never hear strolling away from the club at 4:17 in the morning: “Did you hear that new dubstep track they played? Shit was sexy!” With “Hyph Mngo,” Mr. Orbison has injected a bit of femininity into what is very much a boys’ noise. Of even more interest is the gauntlet being tossed down to dubsteppers who would rather travel inwards, embracing IDM clutter or D&B drama. Nah. No. Put some motherfucking house in it. Crucial. And not a moment too soon.

Michaelangelo Matos: The record this reminds me of is Alex Reece’s “Pulp Fiction,” from 1995, which in retrospect is a, if not the, major jackknife in the evolution of jungle from post-rave rhythmic mess-around to, as Tricia Romano put it, the “oh-Mickey-you’re-so-fine” beat. Not that the ecstatic/kaleidoscopic stuff that’s dominated my summer via various FACT mixes and related is exactly turning timid (as jungle did in its “coffee table” phase) or tech-heavy mean-faced (where the harder stuff wound up); this is just one of those perfectly placed/timed flash-point records, alongside Cooly G’s “Love Dub” and Joker & Ginz’s “Purple City.” I don’t even mind the wafty intro.

Ian Mathers: There’s an interesting queasiness to the sway of the synthesizers here, and long with those emotionally opaque wordless vocals it makes “Hyph Mngo” better than it seems at first. At first it just seems kind of mid-tempo but as you keep listening it becomes subtly disorienting and even kind of melancholy. It’s a neat trick.

Colin Cooper: Just lounge enough, just hypnotic enough, just moody enough, just clickety-clackety laptop beats enough…it’s a special kind of producer that makes garage/dubstep with a repetitive, nonchalant female vocal sample that even I end up loving.

Alfred Soto: With a femme sample that sounds an awful lot like Janet Jackson and considerably sexier in its sexborg way than anything she’s made in ten years, this won’t succeed in getting you on the dance floor, but it’s suitable for headphone listening, where the aforementioned sexborg voice gets more interesting as it grows more insistent.

Rodney J. Greene: I take it this is some of that new dubstep with actual sex that I hear tell about. Waves of warm synths simmer underneath a snippet of wordless coo which wanders about, filling in the space between the deep bass and shuffling hi-hats. The track constantly ascends, transcends, transforms as great dance music needs to do. I wish it went on for longer.

Additional Scores

Spencer Ackerman: [5]
Martin Skidmore: [7]

25 Responses to “Joy Orbison – Hyph Mngo”

  1. Love Mallory’s blurb!

    I keep wanting to read the title as “Hyphy Mango”.

  2. This record reminds me of 1995 too.

  3. Nice piece, Matos!

    As well as the UK funky influence, I think the lurch of dubstep “proper” into semi-mainstream territory with a focus on lairy, beered-up, macho beats (Caspa, Rusko et al: their music uniformly sounds like someone throwing up in your face, and old dubstep hands like Skream and Benga have basically followed this route too) has enabled a space for this dubstep-not-dubstep to prosper, bringing beauty back to the bassbins. And the likes of Hessle Audio have contributed clean, pristine minimal techno influences too. There are so many talented producers making stuff within this (undelineated) field, and it’s also striking how geographically widespread it is.

  4. Considering dubstep fails as dance music on the most fundamental level (ie way too slow and just not kinetic enough), I am all in favour of people prettying and girlying it up.

  5. This track is great but you could put it on Aphex Twin’s ‘I Care Because You Do’ or a Braindance compilation and no one would notice. I’m not objecting at all, but I’m still not convinced that Ikonika et al aren’t just reviving mid-90s IDM through the back door.

  6. I would eat a hyphy mango.

  7. ‘Considering dubstep fails as dance music on the most fundamental level (ie way too slow and just not kinetic enough)’

    You keep saying this but it’s not really true! Assuming this is based on the standard plodding style rather than the more shuffley Burial type stuff (mid-tempo so reasonably) and even if you only count the one bassdrum per bar when clocking the bpm that doesn’t make it slower than a lot of hip-hop…if the beat is the main thing you’re dancing to, trying to co-ordinate with etc.

  8. Some rean ANAL-lysis going on here, everyone getting their two pence in? It’s a dope track, nuff said.

  9. “Considering dubstep fails as dance music on the most fundamental level (ie way too slow and just not kinetic enough), I am all in favour of people prettying and girlying it up.”

    Err have you been to any dubstep raves? People going mad to this ish. Agreed on the girly thing, nice to have a few tunes dropping like this.

  10. I don’t doubt there’s a strong element of IDM in what all these producers are doing, but reducing it to that seems a bit simplistic, especially given the huge range of (musical, geographic) backgrounds they all come from.

    The terrible Caspa/Rusko end of things is actually better if you’re looking for visceral, kinetic dance music – the new d’n’b, as discussed elsewhere. What ties all of these producers together is a combination of really beautiful melodies and woozy, disorientating synth sounds – it’s all designed to heighten emotion. I’ve always connected more with dubstep as late-night headphones music than “dance” music per se, though in the right time/right place/right state/right soundsystem it’s wonderful in a club.

  11. I wasn’t sure whether Matos is saying this song actually has the “oh-Mickey-you’re-so-fine” beat (I think not), but if so, it’s almost trend, given 3Oh!3’s “Starstrukk” and all.

  12. “if you only count the one bassdrum per bar when clocking the bpm that doesn’t make it slower than a lot of hip-hop…”

    Yeah maybe the speed is less the issue for me than a… lack of propulsion and momentum?

    Oh yeah I’d much rather have it as woozy bedroom/headphone music than actual club music, that goes without saying. The ladstep end of things feels like a cul-de-sac but that hasn’t stopped the harder jump-up dnb from being a big commercial success for what seems like years.

  13. My only real problem with the Caspa-like stuff is it tends to be too simplistic. luke.envoy’s ‘Gamma’ from a few years ago is still a benchmark how-to-do-it track for me tho it really is just techstep mapped onto a rhythmic template significantly different enough for it to qualify it as a variation if not a progression.

    I’d also like a little bit more (1 or 2 more hooks/details in the arrangement) from ‘Hyph Mngo’ too tho I’m sure it sounds fine in the mix. 7.5.

  14. I’m saying jungle had it by 1998, Chuck, not this.

  15. Fwiw, I generally dance to dubstep (not my preference at all, but sometimes one has to make due) more like I would dance to reggae than like I would dance to any other style of electronic dance music. The feel, for practicle purposes, approximates the dub end more than the two-step end.

  16. Lex: who else is sexying it up other than this dude and Cooly G?

  17. Btw, I would not eat a hyphy mango, I would ghost-ride with it.

  18. let’s continue to talk about hyphy mangoes

  19. they’re served on a lickin’ stick

  20. also, certainly “hyphy mangoz,” no?

  21. […] By humanizingthevacuum This week’s tally: Drake ft. Trey Songz, Medina, Joy Orbison, The Saturdays, and Jesse McCartney ft. T-Pain, Jay […]

  22. Hey lex, I like the Ikonica and Joker tracks on that Hyperdub anniversary comp!

    The more I listen to this, the more perturbed I am that it wasn’t able to knock Medina off of our top ten (and note to, this had 14 scores verses that song’s 7), but I’m glad it was rated so highly by people.

  23. sick one of my favs, heard that joker track in here

  24. Scott Seward on ILM:

    someone a LOT smarter than me will have to tell me what makes this album – or this track “hyph mngo” – important or best-of-the-year worthy. does nothing for me. poitively screams for an omar santana freestyle edit. so not trippin’ either.

  25. Along with… Pantyraid…at the forefront of some truly wondrous music-making right now.

    Are Pantyraid really considered wondrous? I had no idea. I kind of like their The Sauce album; sort of reminded me of DJ Shadow, at least in the background without listening super close. (Which is a probably a totally dorky and uninformed comparison, I know. Still – not bad!)