Bristol’s Joker burst onto the scene back in 2008 with a string of releases on Terrorrhythm, H.E.N.C.H, and his own label Kapsize. He was making a more melodic alternative to the dubstep sounds coming out of London, and before long, this sound was tagged as the ‘purple’ sub-genre.
Alongside Bristol contemporaries like Mensah, Guido, and Gemmy, he gave the city a new sound of its own; and pushed it worldwide with a string of EPs and two album on the likes of Tectonic, Hyperdub, Hardrive, and 4AD.
His latest release follows a flurry of EPs released on his Kapsize label in 2016, and once again comes via the imprint. A natural extension of his earliest work, the three tracks that make Kapsize 021 capture Joker at his meanest and most powerful.
In celebration of the release, we asked Joker to share with us ten alternative sounds that have influenced his journey. From Bond Themes to Sisqo to classic Wiley, dig in below.
1. Ryuichi Sakamoto – Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (Theme Original)
I know this one’s bait, but it has to be here, ya zimy! I heard it around the time that I first watched ‘Spirited Away’, but it was the later piano version. Banger!
2. Hans Zimmer – Time (Inception)
The same with this one banger, it’s very simple but just mad powerful.
3. Sheryl Crow – Tomorrow Never Dies
I’m a huge Bond fan! ‘Golden Eye’ on N64 was the fucking game blood. I remember having one of those nights where man was just going through loads of old Bond shit, trying to order the Golden Eye poster and then coming across a YouTube video made up of the best Bond themes.
I heard this one and was like, ‘how have I never heard this before?’. I even tried to remix it, but left it alone in the end because i liked the original too much… and my remix was shit!
4. Negative Ion (SARA Remix)
I first heard this played by Kode9 in an old club called Native in Bristol and all I remember was just being like, ‘RAHHHHH!’. The bass sounds all kinda up-down-left-right-up-bubble-left-bubble-square-under-water-backwards. Yeah that doesn’t make any sense, but that’s how I felt hearing it, lol!
5. Centurions (Geeneus) – Aries
One of two Geeneus alias, the other being Wizzbit. I thought this tune was really good, I was probably only 13 or so when I first heard it and knew I needed to get my hands on it. I remember living in Lockleaze (my old ends!) and my mum’s friend was round — I had to beg them to cop the record for man!
6. Wiley – Ground Zero
This tune reminds me of being young and going to Reality FM, a pirate radio station in Bristol, way back. I was in a crew called Kold Harted Krew (yes hearted spelt with no ‘e’) and we hung around with another crew that were older than us called SP, as in SP due to St. Paul’s — the area in Bristol. As the momentum started building, they changed the spelling and called themselves Espea, which was short for Educating Street People Everywhere And Anywhere.
Anyway, to cut a huge story short, I remember this tune shelling radio when SP used to drop it, but true say man never had a copy myself. The intro, bass, drums, all of it was on point. It reminds me of dubstep quite a bit.
7. Wiley – I Will Not Lose Rmx
Being young and living outside of London before the internet really popped off meant you couldn’t find anything on YouTube like I’m doing now. Music felt so magical back then because I knew this shit was out of reach.
I didn’t have any money and digital files weren’t really floating about like they are now so there was no dub rip or anything, but this was 1 minute and 30 seconds of gold on chromium oxide!
8. Clipz- Slippery Slope
Jheez. This is another track that brings me back to Native in Bristol. I always had Jungle and DnB around me growing up, but when i was actually going out to raves this was my shit. Big up Redlight!
9. Sisqo – Thong Song
This thing right here! It just reminds me of back in the day — I love all the RnB jams really, that’s my shit. If I’m honest, when I first heard it as a 10 year old, I remember thinking ‘hmmm what’s a thong?’. The tune still gets banged to this day though.
10. Pharrell – Frontin’ ft. Jay-Z
Bitch, what’s the password to get into the mother fucking party? Neptunes presents the clones, some proper g shit, this. That Neptunes bridge as well, fire!
Kapsize 021 is out now on Kapsize. Order it here.