Scotland Uncovered #13: Josephanon

Scotland Uncovered #13: Josephanon

There is a veritable deluge of fantastic dance music coming out of Glasgow, currently.

Just a cursory glance at a label like Bricolage will show you that despite the closed clubs and empty dancefloors, there are still plenty of creative types making beats across the country’s largest city.

Josephanon is a welcome addition to that. Tracks like ‘Big Hours’ have the live feel of Errors, yet boast the textures of glugging slap bass a la Rustie. There are vast sonic textures riddled throughout, a labyrinthian tapestry of disparate sounds mixing headily while sounding rooted and focussed simultaneously.

Then there’s the touching ‘Verdant’, with its more understated feel and aquatic, chlorinated pulses of synth, fighting for space over clicking and clacking cymbals and snares. It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed by an eerie calm, as warm keyboards float above the rhythm section; a track that rises like steam over a glacier.

‘Henon Attract’s’ immediacy calls to mind a long time-lapse of a busy Glasgow city centre; all those hurried lives crossing traffic, talking on phones, rushing to meetings. A mass of bodies over a cold landscape, as the track’s structure peaks and slows to resemble the movement of a populace. Its pauses leave small gasps for air in choking, built-up streets, subway carriages and buses, before speeding up again. 

Yet, we don’t have that any more. Not really. We won’t for a long time to come. The streets, like those clubs and venues, lie dormant in wait for its visitors. Life isn’t normal, hasn’t been, and won’t be. Somehow, Josephanon’s electronic landscapes evoke these feelings, in the best possible way. This is staring-out-the-window-thinking-about-life music, as much as it’s ready-for-the-stage-and-dancing music.

And that’s a hard line to walk. Not everyone can do that. 

Forgive me for getting carried away with sub-level-prose there, but this is thoughtful, textured and conceptual music. Despite being entirely instrumental, Josephanon’s is an evocative, big picture sound, a proper hunkering down with headphones sound.

Caught up in trying to live as normal when the normal doesn’t exist, this music has a unique pull. It’s simply awash with fantastic ideas and is malleable to match a series of disparate moods just in and of itself.

Christ knows how you do that. Let’s hope there’s more, though.

[Euan Davidson]

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