Joy Overmono: “Bromley”

Joy Overmono: “Bromley”

Talk to enough clubbers, or look at enough DJ charts, and you may get the sense that big anthems have been scarce in house and techno this year. It’s hard to say why; perhaps it has to do with the steady fragmentation of scenes and niches. Maybe there’s just so much music being pumped out that it’s becoming harder for any one song to generate a consensus. One song that bucks the trend is Overmono’s “Le Tigre,” a twinkling, understated breakbeat number that turns surprisingly hefty when played loud. Released just a few weeks ago, it’s been getting played by DJs like Four Tet, Ben UFO, Gilles Peterson, and Daniel Avery. Now Overmono—the duo of Tessela and Truss, aka brothers Ed and Tom Russell—might have an even bigger crowd-pleaser on their hands in the form of “Bromley,” a collaboration with Joy Orbison.

Like “Le Tigre,” “Bromley” is something of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s tougher and more percussive than its predecessor, but for a long stretch of runway, it unrolls without much fanfare, lacking climactic moments or even much in the way of distinguishing characteristics. That all changes at 3:43, as the beat drops out and an unbidden voice breaks through. The vocal sample—something like “Say it, yeah”—is garbled, tripping over its final syllable like a stuck CD, but the words themselves are hardly the point; it’s all about the energy that falsetto cry brings to the song, and the hole it leaves as it falls silent once again, gone as unexpectedly as it appeared.

The vocal lick returns a handful of times, and somehow it remains almost as startling. Each time it disappears, the drums proceed as though nothing had happened, leaving you with the weird sensation that maybe you imagined the whole thing. It’s less a riff than a collective hallucination, and it’s precisely that ability to conjure a roomful of wonder that makes it the tentpole tune the season needed.

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