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Label: Addictech Records
Release Date : May 19, 2014
Catalog # ADDICTECH079
UPC/EAN : 887158809125
File Under: Glitch Hop, Downtempo
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You gotta love Griff. The Melbourne resident is a pinball enthusiast, table tennis champion, and coffee addict. He's a complete legend that you'd want camping with you at a festival, and that's not even considering his mind-melting music!
Griff studied audio engineering at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and, subsequently, landed a job at Sing Sing Studios. Combined with countless hours of experience tinkering with an MPC2000 and finicky grooveboxes, his compositions bridge the gap between acoustic and electronic with the effortlessness of a great jazz improviser. His production domain is one of uplifting synth melodies, warm dub bass, gentle guitars, and dynamic, organic drums. His open-minded live sets have dropped everything from soulful drum and bass to quirky downtempo at such festivals as Burning Man, Shambhala, Rainbow Serpent, Eclipse 2012, and Symbiosis Gathering.
Following three well-received EPs on Adapted, and a chill collaboration with his brother Bryn under the name Dersu Uzala, Griff makes his solo full-length debut on Addictech with 'Interstate.' It's a mature yet playful statement from the young producer, hammered home by the vocal sample in "Time Further In", where Dave Brubeck briefly discusses the original role of jazz, leading the public to more adventurous rhythms.
Benjamin Tolmie's colorful geometric cover art perfectly suits the album's kaleidoscopic sound. When elements like the freestyling trumpet and organ stabs in "Theme from Hexagon" or the chimes and saxophone on "Dead Heroes" arise, they blend seamlessly into sophisticated textures. "Kilgore" is the best example of this, a sparse, jazzy downtempo interlude marked by fresh drums, casual melodic progression, electric piano, and what sounds like a kalimba and melodica, which lend it a worldly feel.
Griff's guitar work is one of the most striking elements of this album. He does for the guitar something similar to what Raja Ram of Shpongle did for the flute, expanding the possibilities of the organic instrument in the context of electronic music, without forcing the issue. The acoustic guitar reversing and flowing in the background of "Like the Sixties Never Happened" underpins it’s melody, supporting but never distracting, while the guitar sound on "Dental Blues" whisks the listener away to a desert plain. Both "Asteroid" and "Quartet" have a little bit of Spoonbill womp, but the latter is given emotional weight by a shallow piano and guitar twang. In moments like these, his guitar becomes a transcendental vehicle.
While much of 'Interstate' will work as party tracks, the cerebral nature of the album's collective effort deeply rewards the focused home listening or proper chill stage experience. It feels sacred. There are always new layers to discover; yet it is perfect for relaxing and contemplating the cyclical nature of time. Oh, yes. You'll want to hang out with Griff a lot this summer.