Shapeshifting genius from composer and one-person pop sensation Joe Snape. Think woozy synthetic textures scrubbed with digital maximalism. Dayglo videogame jigs scored by a caffeinated Michael Finissy. Big-band horseplay squished through the Matrix. Sure is bonkers alright, yet the antic individualism of ‘Joyrobix’ is balanced by its presence in a burgeoning pantheon of Slip-curated melodic adventures that takes in the glacial fragility of Ashley Paul’s ‘Lost In Shadows’ and the happy-sad geek-beat of Competition’s ‘You Turned Into Painting’.
At its best, ‘Joyrobix’ is head-spinningly fabulous, with supple twists and turns that highlight Snape’s compositional nous in full effect. The overlapping moans and groans of ‘Matter With’ evoke the barks and crashes of label co-founder Laurie Tompkins, although Snape smooths out those jagged surfaces with a lush polyrhythmic digitalism whose insouciance wouldn’t look out of place in a ’90s Gilberto Gil record. ‘Grapefruit’ swabs more of Snape’s soulful croons onto clattering bitmapped waddle, with the former just about making up for the migraine-inducing potential of the latter. The gorgeous cornet-driven waft of ‘Arteries’ offers a late moment of respite from the overload, but most fun comes from the title track, Snape slotting together an intricate jigsaw of vocals, melted electronics and instrumental textures with the cool head of a blindfolded tightrope walker tip-toeing across the Grand Canyon.