Joe Armon-Jones Debuts Dub-Focused 'Wrong Side of Town' EP

With support from Nubya Garcia, Hak Baker and more.

Music
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London-based keyboardist, composer, producer and bandleader Joe Armon-Jones has announced his latest release through his Aquarii Records imprint: Wrong Side of Town, a dub-focused four-track EP that presents a central idea in a quartet of different styles. Though Armon-Jones is widely known for his keyboard pyrotechnics as one-fifth of Ezra Collective (with whom he won a Mercury Prize last year), his own music is inspired by a melange of genres, from jazz to hip-hop, garage and the aforementioned dub — a type of music that the first wave of Caribbean immigrants brought to the UK in the ’50s and ’60s.

The project’s lead song is the eponymous “Wrong Side of Town” featuring vocalist Hak Baker, who tackles heavy topics like knife crime with blistering, uptempo lyrics. Baker’s vocal performance and subject matter, combined with Armon-Jones’ and his band’s boisterous riddims, make for a compelling juxtaposition of serious and playful that delivers a powerful message of finding joy in the struggle without being excessively heavy-handed in its overtones.

There’s also “Nubya’s Side of Town,” which features acclaimed UK saxophonist Nubya Garcia. The sax-heavy track, which also features Armon-Jones’ Ezra Collective bandmate James Mollison, draws its inspiration from the b-sides of roots reggae 12-inch singles from the ’70s and ’80s, which were often known as a “horns cut” due to their heavy use of brass instruments. “Wrong Side of the Rhodes” sees Armon-Jones take the harmonic lead on his Fender Rhodes keyboard. There’s also a yet-to-be-released dub iteration of the track that will be available exclusively on Wrong Side of Town‘s vinyl release, much in the same way Armon-Jones’ remix of Takuya Kuroda and Jose James‘ “Everybody Loves the Sunshine” can only be heard on that project’s 10th anniversary reissue.

You can stream “Wrong Side of Town,” “Nubya’s Side of Town” and “Wrong Side Of the Rhodes” on Spotify and Apple Music now, and check out the full list of album credits at the bottom of this article. The vinyl, with cover art created by Ralph Berryman, is available for pre-order on the Aquarii Records webstore.

Vocals – Hak Baker
Piano/Organ/Rhodes – Joe Armon-Jones
Drums – Morgan Simpson
Bass – Luke Wynter
Saxophone – Nubya Garcia & James Mollison
Tambourine/Shaker – Horseman

Mixed by Prince Fatty
Mastered by Noah Priddle
Production/Dubbing by Joe Armon-Jones
Artwork by Ralph Berryman
Drums & Bass recorded at Lighthouse studios by Giles Barrett
Vocals & Piano recorded at Aquarii Studios
Tambourine/Organ recorded at Prince Fatty Studios

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