Nov 2012 22

D-R-U-N-K - G.H.E.T.T.0D-R-U-N-K
Category: Techno / Experimental
Album: G.H.E.T.T.0
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: Electronic innovator Oly Grasset strays far from the trails of modern electro to results, mutually, intriguing and underwhelming.


With this release, French DJ and co-creator of MOTOR Oly Grasset hopes to reach out beyond the conventional aesthetic of electro and tap into darkly disturbing realms of noise and danger. The musical fabrics are at times thick and impenetrable, especially given the techno roots of D-R-U-N-K that on G.H.E.T.T.0 boldly depart from the mainstream of danceable, club oriented music in pursuit of challenges worthy of Grasset’s intuitive talent of. Between this EP and his input into MOTOR’s latest Man Made Machine, he remains devoted to lavish and rhythmical electronica, but this alternative project shifts the focus towards compositions that are dense and raw in a way that MOTOR only hinted at.

“Lab Monkey” opens the release in its condensed, edited form, incorporating a solid, rhythmic foundation that invites an immediate physical reaction. Its character, however, derives not from the dance floor friendly routines but a variety of buzzing, swirling sounds that inhabit the gaps between each stomping beat. The twice as long original version of “Lab Monkey” summons the entire force of unpredictable distortions and dissolves all characteristics of conventional electro in its intensely noisy middle part. Elements of “Lab Monkey” reverberate in the listener’s head, exhausting their energy like the song exhausts its life, fazing out hauntingly like a broken mechanism or a test subject in extremis. Equally evocative is “Ghetto,” which remains energetic but sees the audience through with a mixture of blunt slaps and alarming, high pitched effects. The main motif, deliberately chosen to provoke a sense of insecurity and unease, works well to orchestrate a uniquely dangerous environment; a rave on the edge of hell, if you wish, that is as ascetic as it is entrancing. More approachable is “Hooker,” intertwining pulsating beeps with the repetitious one-liner “How much?,” but with the resonant moods of the two previous tracks gone, D-R-U-N-K loses some of its momentum. “5am” moves forward lazily with a contrived ambient structure that, although equipped in a constant attention grabbing blare, presents little motivation for the listener to follow it closely. A return to modes reminiscent of Grasset’s work in MOTOR occurs within the relatively minuscule structure of brief “IllumiNAZI.” Tight arrangements of distortions, glitches, and beats make up this entertaining bridge between his past and current material that midway through its length evolves into chaotic electro that will surely become D-R-U-N-K’s dominant modus operandi in the future. Lastly, closing the round up of brand new tracks is “Sexvox,” an erotically charged composition that, funnily enough, channels the sexual spirit of MARRS’ oldie “Pump Up the Volume,” yet overall nothing in G.H.E.T.T.0’s second half quite matches the enticing premise delivered in the first two tracks.

You need to devote time and patience to D-R-U-N-K’s new EP for it to unravel fully and in all its glory. A brief glimpse at the soundscape of G.H.E.T.T.0 is unappealing as the noisy arrangements that permute the album might disagree with those listeners that with affection followed Grasset’s work with MOTOR, and not all tracks equally strain his creative muscle. When all comes together though, G.H.E.T.T.0 serves as a hypnotic and innovative vignette for one of the contemporary music visionaries; an invitation, of sorts, to the future of techno.
Track list:

  1. Lab Monkey (Edit)
  2. Ghetto (Club Version)
  3. Hooker
  4. 5am
  5. IllumiNAZI
  6. Sexvox
  7. Ghetto (Original Version)
  8. Lab Monkey (Original)
  9. Ghetto (Radio Version)

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Purchase at:
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Damian Glowinkowski (DamienG)

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