Graze – Edges

Graze_EdgesBetween the space of opening presents and working off the January hangover, not much happens in the world of music. The nightclubs however are still full and the DJ’s are continuously looking for new music to surprise their audience with, so it’s a wonder more artists don’t follow Graze and release an album in the middle of this quite period. Well I call it an album, but it might be closer to an extended EP. Yes, they are back with Edges. A catalogue of music that is the inevitable conclusion to their debut self-tilted EP.

The Canadian duo of Christian Anderson and Adam Marshall (New Kanada Label Boss) caught my attention with this first EP. A stunning debut, which encapsulated the Bass trend perfectly for me. It’s their relative experience in Dubstep and Techno that just seems to work so well and I’m happy that they haven’t changed their perspective for their latest EP. When I interviewed Dense and Pika a few weeks ago, the duo were hesitant to talk about their individual input on the project, and I can safely assume the same will be relevant for Graze. I could claim that I can hear Adam’s experience in the minimalistic approaches of the harmony and melody while the Dubstep influences of Christian shines through in the way the bass modulates throughout. This will be merely guesswork without asking them directly and I can guarantee mostly wrong too, since as a duo they make up Graze, which can only be considered an entity in itself.

Their sound is a very minimalist approach in the harmony and melody with a heavy percussive element grounding it all. It’s an LP intended for a packed club and I can imagine a few DJ’s pulled this one out of their bag to count in the New Year. Opener, Skip/crush establishes Graze immediately with a swelling synth introducing the bass heavy tracks and it is relentless in its beat driven intensions. There are unfortunately two tracks, Cold Drop and Ripley, which fail to make an impression on the EP. These unashamedly tech-house productions are somewhat lacklustre and feel very unimaginative. They are still however recognisable as Graze tracks but the esoteric character from the rest of the LP is just not present unfortunately.

Fortunately tracks like Arior and Scrap substantiate their sound once more. It’s especially the latter that stands out on this LP. I hazard a guess that Christian’s sound engineering training especially plays a role here. The bass register of this track could have easily felt obtrusive in the mix, but the duo just has everything sitting so well in the production. It’s a remarkably achievement and the rest of the album also features this restraint in various places. It’s a minimal approach, which sounds like it was built from the drums up. The percussive programming is excellent through most of this LP. Again I would have to surmise this to be n aspect of Christian’s drumming experience alongside Adam’s intricate knowledge of how the dance-floor works. It calls up associations with Blawan during his Fram/Iddy epoch.

The EP does take a more dubby turn at the end with Oath and features a lazy tempo dragging along some swelling synths with an ominous timbre. This ominous timbre features all over the rest of the LP too and makes up huge part of the Graze sound. It’s what caught my attention on the previous EP, and it’s the reason I jumped at the chance to have a listen to it. The duo has certainly maintained their objective on Edge and the dualistic input definitely bodes well for Graze. I will recommend giving them a listen whenever they pop-up on your radar.