7inch Sunday is a segment devoted entirely to 7” vinyl and the all-encompassing experience surrounding it. Although most publications cover major releases, the vinyl single is often overlooked and given nothing more than a half-hearted nod of acknowledgement. This weekly feature is a hub for 7” reviews, exploring the B-sides and rarities of artists that may often go unnoticed.
Each Sunday I will review 7” vinyl from artists who venture this extra mile to hold their singles high above the sea of digital releases. I hope to embody the spirit of vinyl while sharing some fantastic music with you, the reader. Let’s get started.
When I picked up my copy of JOGYO’s debut single, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. Aside from knowing they were a duo and the cover was the utmost badass, I couldn’t have even told you their genre, let alone my opinion. It is very rare that I fire so blindly into the bottomless abyss that is music, but I may continue if doing so gives me more artists like this.
The single takes absolutely no time with barraging the listener with the bass-heavy rhythm complemented by police sirens of “Rudeboy.” By the time the beat becomes digestible, the fuzzed-out vocals kick back down the door with the opening line, “I don’t wanna be a rude boy no more, no more.” At times it’s hard to tell if the group is trying to invite the listener or scare them off with their digital reggae blitzkrieg. And for the record, all this is a compliment.
“Thundacat,” the B-side of the single, is really where Dru Barnes’ vocals shine. While “Rudeboy” was muffled by distortion and constructive clutter, “Thundacat” is presented in a more polished – well, polished by JOGYO standards – manner. Mix that with the tasteful redundancy of a looped title and systematic shaker, and you have yourself one catchy track.
Before you listen to the record, I will preface with this: it’s definitely not for everyone. The single is incredibly busy, all over the place and, for lack of a better word, weird. However, if you’re looking for tracks that bend all the rules and norms of typical songwriting, your remedy is right here in the form of a dancehall reggae duo. I salute you, JOGYO, and all that your music represents. Keep blending boundary-pushing with beat mastery, and you will keep this fan on the edge of his seat.
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