Joker’s recent recorded output has come in for a fair bit of stick. But, when he’s on form, his low-rent digital fantasias are still capable of pressing the right buttons.

Even as every man and his AIBO are harvesting the sounds of first-generation video games, Joker’s brand of digitised dubstep is still recognisable and rewarding (especially when heard in the context of Robot Elephant’s brilliant retrospective SID Chip Sounds: The Music Of The Commodore 64). On ‘You Should Know’, Joker continues to do interesting things with his narrow sound palette.

Dirtee Stank signees Newham Generals take the lead on the track: D Double E and Footsie are on competent if not exceptional form, although we do get a fun image of the former holding court on the Statue Of Liberty. Instead, it’s Joker’s beat that pulls focus. There’s a louche intro/coda that showcases Joker’s ability to flirt with cheese without necessarily going the whole hog. The clattering drum fills and lumbering synth lines aren’t as thrilling as on Joker’s best work, but they do pack something of a punch. Granted, you do get a cloying chorus, and everyone involved is on pretty polite form. But it’s good to hear Joker reining in those crossover urges that left the ‘The Vision’ sounding so cross-eyed.

The track is due out on Joker’s Kapsize label at the end of April. You can hear a radio-rip of the cut below, taken from Annie Mac’s Radio 1 show.

Joseph Morpurgo

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