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035 gridlock. engram lp. 33rpm. april2k2


fix (spark remix)
estrella (funckarma remix)
364 (one day with proem)
estrella (renaming scheme mix by bu-seki)


the original of fix, estrella. and 364 appeared on unit records [<u07>]

main entry: en·gram
variant(s): also en·gramme
function: noun
etymology: international scientific vocabulary
date: 1908
: a hypothetical change in neural tissue postulated in order to account for persistence of memory

gridlock has been walking the fine line between electronic music genres. with the release of engram on hymen records gridlock continue leaving it's former self behind. engram marks an evolution into more idm territory while keeping things in the emotional vein that gridlock is known for.

again, mike wells and mike cadoo push their programming talents to the next level, bringing their gridlock project to new heights. heavy, emotional, quality electronic music. highly recommended

ever since i have learned about existence of hymen label, i was expecting gridlock to appear among its releases; after all, the style of gridlock has always been the closest to the line-up of hymen. finally there is this 12" with two new tracks ("de/module" and "clicker") as well as four remixes - by spark, funckarma, proem and bu-seki. both new tracks are slightly different from each other, and for me they represent the sound of earlier gridlock moving further, combining heavy idm and noisier rhythms with gentle melodies, as well as assimilated drum&bass drive of (almost) abandoned dryft merged with idm. "de/module" is a track that reminded me of earlier funckarma ("parts" or some of the "solid state") - similar approach to blending multiple layers of heavy percussion with calm, gentle melody. it is not after dramatic contrast of melodic textures and beats, but rather blending them together, carefully placing melody amongst heavy rhythms. i was glad to hear familiar gridlock's "suspended percussion" - when it rises slowly and drops with compressed, heavy punch; same spontaneity and irregularity that i have always treasured, same heaviness but with immersed in additional sound layers. any gridlock fan would recognize a multitude of familiar whirrs and distorted, crunchy noises used in a transformed, more complex, idm-like fashion. "clicker" is a track that i could perhaps label as a mix between early dryft and gridlock - beautiful simple melody augmented by constant pulse of subtle drum & bass lines and familiar backdrops of broken gridlock rhythms. it starts out slowly, but gains speed and breaks out into this manic, high-speed drum & bass overlaid with spastic idm noises, adding so much more to the initial combination. i was not expecting this heaviness, this drive and especially the polished complexity that could remind you of early beefcake or first gimmik vinyl, only heavier, with unmistakably gridlock feel. spark remix was a bit too straightforward, considering what i have expected, but a fairly nice rendition of "fix" - placing emphasis on vibrating analog lines and strings, pushing through the steady rhythmic percussion workout, presenting quite an interesting perspective on the track. funckarma's mix of "estrella" is stellar, as expected - spontaneous irregularity, with explosions of percussion and stuttering rhythmic textures among swelling graceful lines; distant small keys and massive fast-paced breaks, suspended in mid-motion. i think this is where it is interesting to compare and contrast the sound of funckarma and gridlock, both at some point arriving to the same style, both from different directions, and then departing with quieter new funckarma releases ("part 5" and "elaztiq") and increasingly complex and driving sound of gridlock. proem's mix has similar caustic feel that you might have noticed on "negativ", fragile and brittle dark melodies start "364" and gradually deconstruct into slowly flowing track that sparkles with torn resonating frequencies and unexpected turns; a few moments i expected it to turn into one or another familiar proem track, but it carried on with brittle, broken sounds constantly morphing and changing. in the end it seems to be much more of an audiophile's treat with its refined complexity. finally, bu-seki delivers yet another mix of "estrella", quiet and uneventful, soothing, but a bit too even for my taste, although it does make a perfect closure for this album with its slowly alternating ambient lines. overall, i am excited to see new direction of gridlock, because, frankly, after hearing "trace" i was wondering where they would take their sound from there. i am so pleased to hear this new material that is unlike anything out there in terms of production, drive, complexity and melody. i am looking forward to the new full-length, and i am certain that it would get the recognition from both idm and noise/industrial community, and (as it has become a tradition) will make it to my top 10 for the year. (anton)

black #28

mit den ersten sachen von gridlock (die mich via off beat bzw. diverse compilations erreichten) konnte ich ehrlich gesagt nicht viel anfangen, da doch der sound arg vom typischen ami-electro ala skinny puppy behaftet war. aufmerksam wurde ich erst im black 24, wo kollege schröder bei dem review des aktuellen albums "trace" einen bezug zu haujobb herstellte und damit meine erwartungen gekonnt schürte. an hand der neuen 12" auf hymen konnte ich nun diesen vergleich überprüfen und bin restlos begeistert. trockener idm, pneumatische beats, kleine melodien und große warme ambientflächen in perfekter verschmelzung sondert das schwarze vinyl ab und läßt das "trace"-album ganz noch oben auf meiner einkaufsliste rücken! neben zwei neuen tracks gibt es auf "engram" vier remixe von der "trace"-cd, wobei mir die remixer nichts sagen, aber alle ihre aufgabe ausgezeichnet ausführen. ein sehr schönes stück vinyl, welches schon sehr oft bei mir auf dem plattenteller gelaufen ist und den recht seltenen beweis antritt, das sich auch electro weiterentwickeln kann! (m.f.)


gridlock are freewheeling in their own idm-heady dislocated beats universe. new tracks and radically reworked versions of their last album "traces" are pushing the limits of swirly electronica and stuttering breakbeat delicacies. the remixes are bit more groovy than the majestically flowing new ambient tracks, but as always with gridlock releases, the package has to be consumed as a whole. even though you can always tell it's a gridlock track simply because they give everything this gentle, melodious touch, it never bores or gets repetitive. simply beautiful music. (till)


discography 04.2k2
the synthetic form. cd. pendragon records.1997
further. cd. pendragon records. 1999
5.25. cd. pendragon records. 1999
36:6:115/.0001. 7" vinyl split with o2. unit records. 2000
trace. cd. unit records. 2001
engram. 12" vinyl. hymen records. 2002