grad_u – Energy Flow

Art & Flow

Ah, Mojuba. Sometimes my main reason for buying a Mojuba release is the love and care they put into how the product looks and feels. O-Wells’ “Liquid Sun” (on their sub-label a.r.t.less) was in my Bandcamp shopping basket even before I listened to it. Would I have bought it if it had been offered in a simple black sleeve?

In the case of grad_u that’s not a question. This triple vinyl package would have been added to the collection even if they had stuck the vinyl in sleeves of second hand Chris de Burgh albums. Still – thank God they didn’t. Instead, this special edition lives in what they describe as a “hand-pulled screen-printed white cover.” Just the artwork on the cover, no need for names and titles. The way this looks, you will always know what’s in it.

Vinyl in three colors – green, red and brown transparent – in accordance with the art on the cover. Shipped with maximum care, the vinyl outside of the sleeve, the empty sleeve fortified with cardboards so it doesn’t get crushed, plus additional protection in with four of theses super neat black protector pieces in the corner. That’s how you make a vinyl lover happy.

Even though Aleksandr Martinkevič a.k.a. grad_u seems to increasingly enjoy paying visits to other labels (like Lempuyang just a few weeks ago), this is not necessarily a trip that I would have called obvious. Especially in such a lavish format.

Six cinemascope size slabs of Dub Techno, the shortest tracks entertaining us for around nine minutes, the longest one generously spinning for thirteen and a half. Naturally. You can’t do this in five minutes. Not really. Even if you’re grad_u and you’re defining the more banging end of the Dub Techno spectrum.

It’s quite a feat actually, occupying a pretty distinct niche in a genre that is already quite small, and still turning out release after release after release, no matter whether it’s on his own label or those of friends, always staying true to his style, and somehow never really getting repetitive.

Must be the energy. Plenty of it flowing, and all kinds too. Energy of the heart, beating in the opening track “Presence”, energy from the sun as “Coronal Mass Ejections” (even though they’ll be way too much for our planet, frying it in a few zillion years), or from nature as in “Polar Nights”.

If you add it all up it’s an hour of positive energy flowing, the kind of energy that easily enters your own flow, on the dancefloor, behind the wheel or on a trip to the sun. Might as well put it on repeat.

Release for review:

Get it on Bandcamp: Click