*All Photos by Noah Gracia*
Perk-up ravers – we’ve got some new tunes for ya from Arizona producers, Jock Club and Diversion Program. The two teamed up for a joint album, Desert Storm dropped on Jock Club’s MANIC! label.
The formula was simple:
- 10 tracks
- 4 Diversion Program
- 4 Jock Club
- 2 together – one in Diversion Program’s preferred software (Ableton), and one in Jock Club’s (Renoise)
The pair weave crisp percussion and resonant basslines with expert precision. Each track brings a refreshing beat switch, set to the tune of glitchy blips, darting stabs, and quirky samples.
It invokes a certain nostalgia.
Of UK dub.
And Waka Flocka Beats.
And nabbing coins in a retro video game.
Which is funny, because this record makes you feel like bopping in a club with a pocket full of coin.
While their unique, respective influences and processes are laced within the record, every track is undeniably synergistic with any of its siblings. And the camaraderie these two share becomes more obvious seeing them live. We were lucky enough to catch them two days after ‘Desert Storm’ dropped, as a literal desert storm passed overhead.
On a day with plenty of sunshine, an eerie drizzle of rain and wall of dust set the landscape for their HOCO Fest sets at Hotel McCoy on the South side of Tucson. It felt like a resort out of Fallout New Vegas. Sweaty pool people, caked in a desert haze, nodding agreeably to the dirtiest of dubplates.
Both artists carry an air of mystery and intrigue in their music and their personalities. The tracks can lead you down a musky, stone corridor towards a dungeon lair. But their music is accessible, as well. It urges you to fist-bump with your sunnies on next to the sub. It feels natural. The beats could be repurposed seamlessly to the tempo of a grime rapper’s pengest flows. Yet they’re a glimpse into an industrial, dystopian future. It’s two-step, break-beat, bass-infused bliss.
One track that caught our attention early is Jock Club’s “Mohawk”. It urges you to step-up in someone’s face. Probably because it’s, aggressively, up in yours. A true standout is a collab between the two “Shadow Boxing”.
The intros and breakdowns are ominous and reserved. Like a ghost DJ’ing in a graveyard. Then you’re smacked upside the head with bass and 808’s. Clean claps round out the track, adding sonic tingles that encourage movement. Or as one might say “Going ape.” The album’s closer, “Nutmeg”, doesn’t quit. It caps the record and the party. A sweaty night of moshing and nodding with your peers. Desert Storm. Through-and-through bangers.
You can catch Jock Club at select Phoenix shows, such as this month’s “Futurists” showcase at Valley Bar. Diversion Program is heading to London join the Master’s Program of Sonic Arts at Goldsmiths, University of London.
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