Joe Armon-Jones’ continuous growth as an artist is so inspiring to witness. The London-based keyboardist and producer is back with a new collaborative EP on his own Aquarii Records label. A Way Back is the new 5-track EP from Joe and legendary DJ, dubstep pioneer and all-around great musician. As someone who has incorporated a lot of dub influences in his music via his last few albums, it makes sense for Joe Armon-Jones to recruit one of the most accomplished dons on a project that celebrates the very best of dub, electronic and jazz music.
The EP kicks off with “Oh Lord” featuring the legend Maxwell Owin (him and Joe’s collaborative 2017 Idiom EP is still timeless and legendary 5 years on), a bass-heavy, reflective track, with Joe’s subtle but hypnotic keys capturing this dark and unassuming energy that is just so mesmeric throughout. “What It Is” is another heavy cut, with a visceral, bass-heavy beat, and poignant synths that add to the eerie, desolate soundscape both Joe and Mala are able to produce. The dub is heavy here, with thick basslines that just reverberate every inch of my body. “All Ways” is more laid back and reflective, with more of a focus on melody, with Joe’s incredible piano and synth leads adding so much soul and depth to the otherwise energetic soundscape that dominates a large chunk of this project. “The Truth” is another energetic and heavy moment on the album, with incredibly heavy basslines that combine the lighter, more reflective and beautiful melodies thorughout the track. “A Way Back” closes the album out with usually incredible basslines, and some emphatic brass and guitar rhythms from James Mollison on sax, Dylan Jones on trumpet and Mark Mollison on guitar, all of whom absolutely kill it.
A Way Back EP is just incredible from front to back. Joe Armon-Jones and Mala provide some heavy yet reflective soundscapes that are just exemplary of their talents as dub and jazz producers. There is so much to admire about both artists and this EP, and I am sure that they will continue surprising us with quality music in the years to come. Go support!
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