London-based producer Joe Hertz is onto something good.
Much like his fellow contemporaries Tom Misch and HUNTAR, Hertz has spent his career steadily crafting a collection of early-hours ambience. His music carries a warm and willing fragmentation, detached from the ecstatic up-tempo of the underground night and choosing the dusky bedroom comedown as its sonic habitat instead. The latest addition to this discography is Playing For You, which comes with an accompanying visual, too. It’s a gorgeous, strung-out piece of pensive electronic music that unravels slowly and harmonically, never wasting a note.
‘If you wanna change me, ain’t nobody changing for you’ purrs Bassette, assuming vocal duties for Hertz’s latest venture. Playing For You borrows elements of contemporary R&B and nu-soul in its exploration of melody. It’s a sound that lends to the work of artists such as Sampha and Jordan Rakei – deeply rooted in music of the past, reimagined a manner that is both new and of its time.
The track’s video is of a suitably maundering quality, managing to paint a sufficient snapshot of both skate culture and racial misconceptions in equal terms. It’s beautifully shot, and the kind of visual that would prompt a hazy, post-rave debate – an environment perfect for Hertz’s sounds. Both are brilliant. Joe Hertz deserves your attention.
Words by Niall Flynn