Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gridlock – Further [1999]

As the nineties drew to a close, a lot of electro-industrial acts headed for the greener pastures of IDM. This would eventually contribute to a glut of middling rhythmic noise projects, but a few gems were created in the flux of bands who remembered their Skinny Puppy roots while reaching for the erudition of Autechre. Of these gems, Gridlock’s Further might be the crown jewel. Some of the songs consist only of wintry synth washes that evoke a tone of desolation, while other tracks are obliterated by blasted, broken beats of sculpted white noise. Gridlock’s later work would emphasize this ambient aspect while using a more conventional midtempo rhythmic structure, but here the beats are ugly and extravagant.

It’s hard to believe this was released ten years ago. Unfortunately, the intervening years have seen Gridlock’s ambient/noisy duality contribute to the dumb powernoise cliché of alternating soft and loud tracks on an album. Parties guilty of following that trope should take another listen to this album and hear how it's done.

Gridlock – Further [1999]
01 - From Zero
02 - Ash
03 - [Untitled]
04 - Sever
05 - [Untitled]
06 - Cramp
07 - Without
08 - [Untitled]
09 - Here
10 - Further
11 - Egeszeges
12 - Scrape
13 - Under
14 - Ash [KSP remix]
15 - Enzyme [Dryft remix]

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