J.O.E - This IS Where The Dance Gets Sweet EP




Stepping up for the next release on Ray Keith’s prestigious Dubplate Dread imprint, seasoned East Anglian producer J.O.E. comes through with the goods on his new six-track EP This Is Where the Dance Gets Sweet. It’s a label debut for the decorated beatmaker, whose past output has spanned esteemed labels including Sub Heavy Audio, Maad Ting and Calypso Muzak and has included productions for hip hop heavyweights Mic Righteous and Franko Fraize. Drawing on decades of experience dating back to 2003, he manages to channel old-school Dread Recordings influences into contemporary styles of D&B over the course of the project, which covers everything from ragga-tinged jungle anthems to rumbling, minimal rollers.


Opening with ska skanks, choppy drums and patois-laden vocal samples, “Come to Boom It Up” sets the tone for the project, its vibrant aura indicative of the feel-good numbers to come. The buildup of the following track “Rock ‘n’ Come In” continues in the same vein before erupting into punchy drops, centred around distorted stabs and oscillating basslines. A dramatic departure from the style of the previous tracks, “Buddha Bass” is a darker, heavier offering, catapulting into rave-ready crescendos dominated by guttural basslines and sputtering percussion.


Showcasing an entirely different side to J.O.E.’s production abilities, “Enter First” is an airy roller, making use of luscious sweeps, pummelling sub-bass and nostalgic, instantly recognisable breaks to create an ambiance in equal parts breezy and hard-hitting. Yet again demonstrating his versatility on “Just Be There”, he turns his hand to liquid, crafting an immersive roller decorated with vocal cuts, reversed synths and atmospheric shrieks. Rounding off the EP is its stunning title track “This Is Where the Dance Gets Sweet”, which opens with delicate, swirling melodies and jagged subs before bursting into gravelly drops marked by bulldozing basslines, drawing the EP to a suitably gripping close.