‘Hurt‘ has been my steady companion. This time, it’s personal.
With his third album, Aachen-based producer [basementgrrr] takes his next step: After the relaxed electronica of “Arrival/Departure” and the rhythmic workout of “A Certain Kind Of Decay” he took his time off to produce an album of immersive depth and intimate beauty. Built around shuffling downbeats – mostly sounding like played on real drums – accompanied with assorted electronics, warm analogue pads, gritty bass riffs and occasional vocals, he creates a compelling and cinematic style.
From the stunning cover art it is clear that this is an artist’s way of letting the listener take a peek into his soul. His gentle, but determined way is reflected in the contrast of beauty and heavy agony which permeates “Hurt” – sometimes within one song: “This is for the broken hearted” features bulging metal riffs – before changing into a majestic synth melody. Diversity is still [basementgrrr]’s trademark – vaguely trip-hop, but also with a post-rock-style elegance, allusions to Kraftwerkian electronics (“Ghetto Logic”) and the darker corners of the Massive Attack sound on “Naked”, which also features a heartbreaking vocal performance. “Hurt” sounds in larger parts like a movie score (“From a dream…”), “The Sound of Future London” is probably the wittiest tribute in a long time and the gentle outro “Underworld” finishes the album on a darker tone. And yet, [basementgrrr]’s work is completely coherent and authentic, the output of thoughtful producer, far from headstrong – pure joy for the electronic heads.