Monday, 1 June 2009

PRE-ORDER: Gravious - Futurist EP [Highpoint Lowlife]

Sci-Fi has been an inspiration for many electronic artists, from Kraftwerk to Herbie Hancock and even El-P every one of them has been influenced by the the use of machines to make sounds. One group who were hugely indebted to the sound were the pioneers of the second wave of Detroit techno, UR. They had a throw back futurism sound that somehow managed to sound like the point were the unknown and the past combined. You can hear this in tracks like ‘Hi-Tech Jazz’ where the sounds are not from this world but the funk and soul is firmly grounded.

Gravious has pulled off a similar feel on the ‘Futurist EP.’ The first track with it’s UR nodding name, ‘Jupiter Jazz’ skips and builds with deep bass, bleeps, emotive pads and machine funk that truly blossoms with texture when the swirls and chiming open hi hats take over transporting it to a dance floor set somewhere between the Green Hill Zone of Sonic The Hedgehog and bar in the first Star Wars film.

‘Vultures’ is a little bit of a shock after the colourful vibes of the EP opener, rolling out a dark bass evolution under open snares and tortured chants. When listened to in succession ‘Vultures’ contrasts the tracks it intersperses so perfectly, providing a whole heap more impact whilst showing that Gravious isn’t all swooning jazz leads and complicated chord sequences by relying solely on bass frequencies and drum pressure to drive the track home.

The finale, ‘World of Tomorrow’ is like a subtle, mellow version of the first track, full of emotive strings tweaks, bleeps and the kind of bass that hits you like a wall of stale air in the dance. Like the soundtrack to some dystopian winged car advert it rushes and swings in much the same way as the output of Brackles and Shortstuff and if their recent spike in profile is anything to go by this producer seems set for great things.

Words: James Balf & Oli Marlow


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