Joy Orbison – the artist name of Peter O’Grady – will release his first-ever long-form project. The fourteen track mixtape titled “still slipping vol. 1” is the latest creative milestone from an artist who has been shaping and redefining the electronic music landscape since his teens. Over a decade into a career that has seen him constantly defying categorisation, Joy Orbison is more in-demand and relevant than ever.
Highly anticipated would be an understatement – so influential are his releases to date, it’s difficult to believe he’s never released a full-length project. The name of the mixtape may already be familiar – an evolution from 2019’s acclaimed “Slipping” EP and also the name of a Joy Orbison curated radio station (“Still Slipping: Los Santos”) within Grand Theft Auto’s immersive world – but in terms of scope and ambition, “still slipping vol.1” is without doubt O’Grady’s boldest and most expansive project yet.
First coming to prominence in 2009 with his debut single “Hyph Mngo” – a track that became a bonafide phenomenon and changed the dance music underground forever – the London musician, DJ and producer is undoubtedly one of the most renowned, respected and influential electronic artists of his generation. Whether through his own game-changing releases such as “Ellipsis”, “GR Etiquette”, “Big Room Tech House DJ Tool-TIP!” or the “Slipping” EP, collaborations with the likes of Mansur Brown, Overmono and cutting edge Japanese clothing label Cav Empt, a run of genre-defining releases on his Hinge Finger label, a BBC Radio 1 residency and live appearances that span the most credible underground nights to festival headline slots around the world, the name Joy Orbison has been a constant byword for understated, uncompromising quality.
“still slipping vol.1” is the next evolution in his journey. Fans of Joy Orbison’s DJ sets and radio shows will already be aware of his diverse tastes and inspirations, represented here through a roll call of delicately curated, mainly UK, collaborators that include Herron, James Massiah, Bathe, Léa Sen, Goya Gumbani and Tyson. Just as important are the voices Joy Orbison’s family – mum, dad, sister Sarah, uncle Frankie, uncle Keith (recently departed), auntie Helen and cousins Lola, Mia and Leighann, who was the first person to introduce O’Grady to drum and bass and garage as a kid and stars on the mixtape’s cover art. They appear throughout the record via a series of voice notes, his only contact with his family during this year of worldwide lockdown and an intimate, vicarious glimpse into the personal world of an artist who has generally side-stepped the public gaze.
The result is Joy Orbison’s best music to date and a powerful distillation of his musical career so far. Recorded in his Walworth Window studio in southeast London, this is serious, future-facing sound system music cut through with a sense of warmth and playfulness much needed for these times.
Talking about the mixtape, Joy Orbison says:
“i’ve been working on the idea of a mixtape for a while now. i’d never really wanted to make an album, but the way I’ve been making and listening to music has changed a lot over the last few years and it doesn’t always make sense on a single or EP. i also had this realisation that I wish my records were better suited to soundtracking people’s bus journeys but so far I’ve only really given you enough music to get half way up walworth road
i’ve made a point of making this record feel really human, light hearted and humorous in places too so that the weirder bits of the record don’t seem too wanky or self-indulgent. there’s so much electronic music that I love but I never really connected to the space age, distant land of whoever your graphic designer is the presentation of it all – so hopefully this feels a bit more personal. there’s a load of voice notes from family members in there too, pretty much my only contact with them over lockdown. my dad recently showed me this extensive list he’d made of the number of times we’d moved house growing up (my headcount is 16 btw). he’s an engineer so a lot of my childhood was spent following the work. unsurprisingly that’s led to me thinking about family & belonging as i’ve got older and how that relates to my music.
in my head, this is a soul record but I’m not sure that’s how people will hear it. the cover star is my wonderful cousin Leighann who introduced me to jungle, d’n’b & uk garage at a young age. without her, I wouldn’t be doing what I do today. i love this picture by Rosie Marks, it reminds me of a sample i wanted to nick from a Potter Payper interview that pretty much sums up my career – ‘you never know what a kind word could do for someone. with that in mind, I wanna say a big thank you to all the collaborators on this record, my noble friends (you know who you are), the good people at XL recordings and most of all my partner in crime William Aspden (he’s got kind words in abundance).
hope you enjoy it, thanks for your patience and support – it means everything. x p”
“still slipping vol.1” will be available on LP, CD, limited Japanese CD (featuring exclusive bonus track), cassette and on all digital services. Meanwhile, to celebrate with the release of “still slipping vol.1”, Joy Orbison has also announced an exclusive collaboration with legendary Tokyo based clothing label Cav Empt. The long-time friends and collaborators (Joy Orbison has previously performed at Cav Empt parties in London and Tokyo and contributed to their renowned tape series) have come together to produce a range of “still slipping” merchandise including t-shirts and socks. This is Cav Empt’s first-ever collaboration with an artist and is sure to be highly sought after.
All “still slipping vol.1” formats and merchandise are available to pre-order now.
“still slipping vol. 1” track list:
1. w/ dad & frankie
2. sparko (w/ herron)
3. swag w/ kav (w/ james messiah & bathe)
4. better (w/ léa sen)
7. ‘rraine (w/ edna)
8. glorious amateurs
9. s gets jaded
10. froth sipping
11. layer 6
12. in drink
13. playground (w/ goya gumbani)
14. born slipping (w/ tyson)
Picture by Rock Games