Following hot on the heels of the previous Grey Area Releases, Numbers 1 & 2 is the latest in the series. Again the artists that are involved are kept on the down low, this provides neutrality when listening to each track.
A1 – 1: Time signatures are a strange thing is probably the best quote to describe the first of the four tracks on GA03. The stuttering filtered kick starts on a half beat 4/4 rhythm that starts off in an orderly fashion. Then as if by some strange magic the acidic line comes in with a 3/4 flavour and throws you off course for a moment or two. Don’t let this put you off though as the result of this really grows the more times you listen to it. The quality of the sounds that are used is not in question, they are very high in fidelity and are eerie and addictive.
A2 – 2: The second track on the “A-Side” has a more industrial feel to it. The main sound is like a flapping boat engine sound, chugging out its metronomic pattern. The accompanying sounds are from the sci-fi realm, and add a sort of suspense feeling to the vibe of the track. The use of delay works really well with these additions, and gives the track an almost dub style. The best way to think of this is minimalistic future music, again with high precision sounds that have a hypnotising glow.
B1 – 3: The first track on the flip is led by a arpeggiated synth noodle that tries to capture you with its hypnotist spell. The atmosphere the envelopes this comes from a clicking popping bubble set of noises. Its proper drippy and fluid to the ear, and this type of stripped back production has a real sense of something deeper lurking within itself. It fires your imagination as you could quite easily drift away into some otherworldly dimension.
B2 – 4: The closing tune takes us down into the realms of the deep and mechanised. Metallic machine sounds with spaced out fx really add depth and presence to this superb track. The solid kick drum stomps out the coded rhythm which marches along with purpose. This is probably the most forthright of all of the tracks on this EP. That’s not to dismiss the other tunes, but track 4 really stands out on GA03 and has the most in terms of components bouncing off each other.
Grey Area continues its mystical trip into the unknown, and for people that have the previous two EP’s then this is a must have for the collection. If you are new to GA, then get your ears around this! then seek out the other’s.
A1 – 1) Grey Area continue the mysticism of the artist identity with the forth instalment in the series. This is a hypnotists dream sonically, with the techno esc pulse taking charge and drives the track forward. The dusted kick and brush hats hold this up to perfection and allows the opening and closing of the pulse sound to work its magic. As the track progresses more percussive elements begin to reveal themselves, these add more immediacy to the overall rhythm and groove. The soundscape also evolves along with sci-fi pad sounds and detailing that one would expect from the GA camp.
A2 – 2) The second tune has a far more urgent vibe than the previous track. The parts and components of this beast are at the forefront all at the same time. This sounds like an odd description but it all feels very much in your face without being offensive. Techno from the future is where we are at, with frantic pulse sounds and fast heart rate beat work that really have you on the edge of your seat. This seems to just keep building and building with more and more being added to intensify the atmosphere and intensity. The key though here is its done with such a delicate and thoughtful touch. Top stuff this, very cool indeed.
B1 – 3) Get your stomp face on as we go into the realms of head banging craziness. Well at least that’s the first thing that comes to mind. The kick on this track stutters out its Germanic 90’s almost gabba like rhythm and would not sound out of place in a Tanith set from days gone by. It is quite an aggressive tune but something just holds it off from being so far gone into nailsville city. The synth sounds have such a dramatic style that when coupled with the vibrant and powerful percussion really form a tour de force of sound. Its another forthright piece from someone anonymously going on a really mad one in the studio, would love to have been a fly on the wall at that moment kind of thing.
B2 – 4) The final track on the forth volume of the GA series takes down a notch tempo wise. 4 has a really intricate set of arp sounds that have a cyclic looping vibe. The other parts of the soundscape come from mad science experiments that have taken an audio form. Metallic striking sounds are merged with something that has a war of the worlds war machine eerie resonating menace to it. The groove of this track has a half beat structure that comprises of a kick, snare and hat combination. This really draws you into what is happening with the main atmosphere of the tune, again this does have a colder feel but its done with class.
Aural Imbalance Review
Marbled Vinyl 12"
The first Volume in the amalgamation of two audio powerhouses in the form of Samurai Music and ASC’s Auxiliary imprint. They join as one to offer something slightly off the cuff from the individual labels usual input. The first Volume under the Grey Area guise does hold the identity of the mother and father labels so to speak, although the general idea here is that that the artists that have contributed to the project are kept under wraps and go down a slightly more experimental path. What follows is a brief summary of the 4 Unknown tracks in this opening gambit from Grey Area.
A1 – Unknown #1: The first track is a very uplifting cyclical looping affair that draws the listener into its web of intrigue and mysticism. The main player is a synth bleep sound that pulses like a futuristic alarm that grabs the tune by the scruff of the neck. The accompanying soundscape that envelops the main sound have an almost analogue acidic quality, with synth leads using filter cut offs that are opening and closing in a very rhythmic way and create a very hypnotic feel. The Percussive snare element that hits on the half beat is solid and chunky and gives a real snap to the track. The 4/4 hats that tap away add a sense of something more urgent and really gives overall depth to the beat structure. This is a great opening offering on the EP, top stuff as you would expect with the labels that are involved here.
A2 – Unknown #2: The second tune keeps the analogue hypnotic vibes going and follows the first track perfectly. This is a slightly more industrial and colder feeling than the previous piece, with the focus more on the groove and beat structure. The beat work is detailed and superb in its realisation, the half groove snare again takes charge here, but the intricate hats, wood block hits and other drum sounds are trance inducing and very interesting to the ear. The synth leads are more of the cycle of odd and are accompanied with some dark metallic pad atmospherics. If this was played at volume you would definitely be feeling all of the various frequencies that are present and correct is the track.
B1 – Unknown #3: really ramps up the energy levels and adds drama to the previous tracks on the “A-Side”. The ferocity of the arrangement is a more intense version of Unknown #2, almost a continuation which takes you further into the realms of this quirky world that is Grey Area. The main parts of this beast are so sci-fi esc, they scream of warp drives and large space machines that rattle and churn out bucket loads of power and inertia. The overall feeling here is very much in the mechanical and processed format. The looping and repetitive atmosphere which just builds and builds is very forward thinking and quite a distinct and original in its styling.
B2 – Unknown #4: The end product of the first Grey Area release is a slightly more relaxing and subtle tune. The rainforest other worldly soundscape is directly from the forest moon of Endor (Other Sci-Fi Film References could be usedJ). This is a very in depth journey and probably the deepest track on the EP. The beats are very classy and ooze quality. The synth sounds are inspired and quite dreamy in their realisation, this is a proper eyes closed and drift off moment. This is a great way to finish the EP and leaves you wanting more.
This is a great start for Grey Area. 10/10 | Aural Imbalance Review
Black vinyl 180g shrink wrapped
The first in a series of anonymous 12"s on Grey Area - the label collaboration between Samurai Music and Auxiliary
a1. Unknown - #1
a2. Unknown - #2
b1. Unknown - #3
b2. Unknown - #4
Released 24th March 2017
The fifth in a series of anonymous 12"s on Grey Area - the label collaboration between Auxiliary and Horo. Experiments in polyrhythm supported by Samuel Kerridge, ASC, Ancestral Voices, Oake, Sam KDC, ENA, Presha and more.
a1. Grey Area 05 #1
a2. Grey Area 05 #2
b1. Grey Area 05 #3
b2. Grey Area 05 #4