From his anonymous persona to the tongue in cheek name, DJ Paypal is like an internet forum troll made flesh.
Whether it’s opening his Boiler Room sets with Yoshi’s Theme from Super Mario Bros or performing at Kata wired to the moon on acid, Paypal likes to fuck around, even if doing so means the external world doesn’t always get a true handle on the footwork savant and damn good guy that lurks beneath. Sure, one day he might be found releasing albums worth of 160bpm Drake edits, but the next he’ll be talking about how Teklife plan on taking over the world. It sums up the Paypal dichotomy that you can bet he treats both statements with equal seriousness.
Paypal’s decision to release 'Sold Out', his debut mini-album, via Brainfeeder was met with surprise in some quarters, but where better to meld juke and jazz for the first time? With its manic horn blasts and syncopated drums, ‘Awakening’ plays out like an Ornette Coleman tune rebooted for the 21st century, but still, even it appears tame when up against the fevered jungle polyrhythms and scat chanting of ‘Slim Trak’, a cut that already has people losing their minds.
The latter half of Sold Out features guest spots from a clutch of the Teklife crew. Feloneezy and Jackie Dagger pop up on the blazed out, R&B grooves of ‘With ‘Uuuuuuu’, while PC Music’s French producer TIelsie makes a leftfield appearance on ‘Say Goodbye’. With its desolate synths, and spastic tempos, the closer could serve as a cosmic threnody for an imploding Universe, and it’s quite possibly one of the very first tracks to be classified as “elegiac juke”.
Still, In terms of sentiment it seems irrelevant to where Paypal currently finds himself, with this teaser no doubt just the beginning of a new strain of avant-footwork coming our way in 2016. As the refrain of ‘We Finally Made It’, a track featuring DJ Rashad protégé DJ Earl goes: "we’ve only just begun".
Words: Graeme Campbell
- - -
- - -