On a personal level his one has been a long time coming… about 15 years, to be precise. My first encounter with Maximum Joy was around 2001 when Chris Farrell – back then fresh-faced working the counter of Imperial Records (R.I.P.) in Bristol, now boss of the Idle Hands shop and label there (and still fresher-faced than most) - played me the song ‘Silent Street / Silent Dub’, the lesser-spotted B-side of their Stretch 12”. We were in a club, mind, but I think “played me” is still accurate: it was opening time and there was no one else in the room. Quite honestly, I've never heard anything that comes close - before or since. On the one hand, it's quintessential post-punk; on the other hand, in 2017 that broad catch-all tag does a disservice to its sheer vibrancy and musicality. Janine Rainforth’s singing, probably my all-time favourite vocal take, seems to combine an ageless English folk sensibility with both a teenager's innocence/insouciance and a smoked-out drowsy jazz maturity well beyond her years. Charlie Llewlin’s drumming is broken beat some 20 years ahead of schedule, Dan Catsis’s bassline is heavy-as, and Tony Wrafter’s free-soaring trumpet channels Don Cherry with aplomb. All bound together and ultra-intensified by Dick O’Dell’s vertiginous dub mix. And that's just Side 1 Track 1. The rest is nearly as good. Very proud to be reissuing this magnificent body of work on a new label with Chris that we've called, unimaginatively, Silent Street.
2x12" with download code, and liner notes by Rainforth, Wrafter and Kevin Pearce.