To start straight-up: the beat-scene continues to thrive from 2016 into 2017 solely on turning the DJ/producer into the actual Master of Ceremonies. Sure, this has always been the case with DJ culture. If there’s a microphone, the DJ will always be yelling into it, to no avail. No avail! But when producers like Josh Hey step up, the personality of his jib-cutting comes from how maintained and “real” the samples sound acoustically and environmentally. And in Beat Hotel, Josh Hey takes commentary to an entirely mental state of judgement.
The album sustains a story to behold upon clicking play, a collision of thoughts within each room of this hospitable resort. Like a dream, Beat Hotel checks you in, takes your luggage, introduces you to the staff and locals, crisps your sheets, fluffs all the pillows, directs you to the spa area, gives you a free drink at the bar, turns on the heat, etc. Josh Hey as the concierge. But what does Beat Hotel look like to you? Is it a 7Up alone in your room with the windows open during a blizzard with The Weather Channel on mute, Josh Hey on the reel, watching a Cantonese woman barely walking, wearing a cap embroidered with a baseball and “Run Home” and shielding her eyes with the brim? Is it the walking from the hot tub to the swim-up bar sipping a tall glass of water?
For me? Beat Hotel is a roller rink called Skate World, where Josh Hey is turning up on two double-tape decks with a splay of switches and knobs and dub and slides, socking out the heavy-heavy to slow-motion jam-skating in the inner-circle of the rink where everyone takes their turn moving to the beat, like:
This isn’t a fantasy of Josh Hey’s in Beat Hotel, no, but an inspiration of thought that comes from the hand-style production, beat variation, brazen sampling, vibrant blends, and (most importantly) his own stamp that becomes “voice.” As if Josh Hey is narrating each of our stories within the Beat Hotel. We’re all here together. Just picture it.