One of the most remarkable things about Joe is how pristine he's been able to keep his discography. The press-shy producer rarely releases music at all, and when he does, it usually feels like some kind of event. Joe is a master at making his machines flex like non-electronic instruments; at the same time, he works with a rigidity that seems more derived from Bohannon or the JB's than his "bass music" contemporaries. The producer continues the streak with "Slope" b/w "Maximum Busy Muscle," his latest 12" for Hessle Audio.
"Slope" transitions between a section with squiggling, rubbery sine bass and a more straight up-and-down kick-drum push, which is escorted in by swelling string pads. As is his wont, Joe does a great job separating all the parts, intermittently taking the main pieces into a "room" created by a reverberating field recording. Even if its space wasn't so carefully constructed, one suspects it would still be successful, thanks to that trade-off between sections. "Maximum Busy Muscle," meanwhile, does what it says in the title; it's one of those tracks whose rhythmic gears are so tight and yet slightly wonky that it practically simulates a live drummer. Its frisky drum rolls and stabby synthesizer honks hint at any number of "live techno" acts: Elektro Guzzi, Brandt Brauer Frick, et cetera. That Joe is doing it by himself is even more impressive.