grad_u – Redscale 10

Nostalgia, big and fat

Hey, grad_u, what happened? Sounds like you had a big fat case of nostalgia, maybe accompanied by a drink or two. But I can relate. Sometimes I go back to the collection and pull out some stuff that I haven’t heard in half an eternity.

I don’t mean the really old stuff, more like the late nineties to late 00s, somewhere around there. When things were big and banging and bacchanal, with massive chords, big driving drums, a feastful simplicity that would keep the dance floor grinning and gleeful forever.

Usually I wait until no one can hear me and then I pull out some of the 12″es, put them on the turntable and while I lower the needle I wonder whether I will pull it back quickly, thinking it’s just too corny, too embarrassing, or whether I will slip deeper into nostalgia, maybe even wonder if that stuff can be played in some kind of setting.

I stumble across tracks that never left that super emotional big monster hug-you-all life-is-wonderful playlist that your mind keeps stuck way in the back just in case there’s a crowd on the floor that is as happy as it gets and needs a big fat groove that will let them all melt together in joy.

You mention Aril Brikha’s “Groove La Chord” and it triggers that strange and slightly corny playlist. I keep it for myself to not embarrass myself, and also because this is obviously not about me, but about that massive Redscale you just launched upon us.

When I heard the first minute of “Siren” I was thrown back to the days when still had a subcategory called “Hardgroove” and I would just go through all of them and look for the ones that would be most serious about the groove part. Most of the time I was missing exactly that, along with something that would lift it off the more functional level, you know, the stuff mentioned above, the big chords that lead to the big grins.

For a moment I was thinking, okay, this is way more banging than the usual Redscale, but I hope it does something deeper. Well, it does. Of course it does. Just when this thing may be underestimated as a tool these vicious chords are thrown in for this massive long break, and I’m thinking okay, this might just take the right turn, and then the beat kicks in as big and heavy as it needs to, and off we are to the big floor.

I’m sure that DJs everywhere will gladly take the cheers and obeisances from the crowd when they let that second endless break swirl around the room, no doubt twisting and turning the knobs and teasing the folks that sway and weave in front of them, prepared for the big re-entry bang by a few hand claps – and then the room can go up in flames again. Hey, let’s throw in a bit of extra percussion, make it funky, push it further, yes that works, and the only thing we need to worry about is whether the bag will offer a track to follow this without taking a dive.

This could easily have been a one sider and people would be just as happy. But hey, let’s turn this over for “Dancefloor Is Dangerous”. Even heavier hitting beat, evil skipping bass walking all over it, a vocal sample… wait a minute, you serious? Eric B & Rakim? Nostalgia must be hitting you hard, but that’s cool, we all get it and this is a totally legitimate line.

Again the break builds it up in classic style, big club techno sound you call it, and that’s just what it is. The chords much tighter, the kick way heavier and voluminous, no wonder this monster needs almost twelve minutes to spend its energy. I prefer the grins on the A side – but this is definitely way above B side level.

It took more than three years to let Redscale 9 be followed up by number 10 – we know why, building the Greyscale label and all. But who would dare to complain if this is what we were waiting for? Pack that fancy splattered vinyl and slap it on the decks when the crowd really needs it. They’ll love you for it.

Release for review:

Buy this release on Bandcamp: Click
In case the vinyl is sold out, get it on Discogs: Click

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