Premiere: A2 – J03l – Sweet As [LTK001]

London producer J03l starts his own label Licence To Kill with three original cuts from himself, featuring Doubtingthomas on remix duties.

True to the mysterious, music-first ethos of many producers in this realm of stripped back club music, UK artist Joel Roberts aka J03l reveals little about himself and the project, other than a desire to fuse the contemporary world of minimal with the aesthetic of classic UK spy James Bond.

Simple artwork recalls the recognisable Bond frame from the movies, whilst echoing the sneaky and secretive vibes within the music. Sounds are slick and playful, meandering through creative melodies and moreish beats ready to ignite the dance floor. It’s a timeless aesthetic driven to provide effortless jams that ‘gives DJs exclusive license to set floors on fire, igniting the best parties at any time of night or day with the distinctive sound of infectious, bond-orientated beats’ to quote the label.

Providing three of his own personal productions to kickstart the project, J03l delves deep into his tastes spreading across plucky micro-house and infectious broken rhythms all caressed with a mischievous energy ready to bring the party to life.

‘Sweet As’ is arguably the most playful pick. Percussion is heavily swung with acoustic notes of jazz and field-recording-like sounds bringing a natural groove and vibe to the track. It’s the moreish melody that steals the show, illustrating the power of simplicity, a refined three-note sequence spirals in and out of the beats with a delightfully hypnotic charm.

Squirmy synth work adds depth to the rear of the track, working squelchy blips and sensual vocal samples within a bed of trippy, lucid textures bubbling beneath the beats. Besides the one subtle breakdown, rhythms loop over one another with an effortless vibe. You can picture the likes of Praslea or Raresh sending crowds into a frenzy with this sleazy piece.

Prolific producer Doubtingthomas takes aim at the same track, bringing his fluent flavours to the release. Rhythms become more nimble, injecting energy into the mix with a combination of short, snappy percussion and a new synth line shimmering above the beats.

J03l’s original ‘Inglasias’ opens the record with a more tripped-out affair. Marching percussion slots between a stuttering bassline and abstract vocal samples more tailored to the after-hour dance floor. While the supervillain ‘Holy Motors’ nails the Bond vibes to a tee. Pinned by a slick breakbeat rhythm, enticing energies build over the beat with a monster of a bassline bordering on an almost ominous but playful vibe. This varied release is sure to find it’s way into the bags of many selectors across the house and minimal circuit.

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