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Gricer

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Reviews of Gricer

 

01/04/0006 Steve Barker, The Wire

Gricer - slang for an individual with specialist knowledge - are a loose UK collective revolving around multi-instrumentalist and composer David Maleed. Occupying a no-man's land between post-rock and the new young jazz thing, it's not surprising that the album moves from the opener 'Slow' - the aching walk of a horn through an isolated landscape a la Miles Davis's Ascenseur Pour L'Echafaud - swiftly on to the metronomic 'Staccato', like Reich wound by clockwork with a drowning bass swirling down a plughole. Some guitar licks here are straight out of Zoot Horn Rollo's secret volume of unrepeatable motifs from Beefheart's Lick My Decals Off, Baby, as in 'Peon' and 'Japan In A Dishpan'. Others bounce between Sonny Sharrock and Steve Albini, although the riffs have a peculiar tendency to tease or painfully clutch without ever fully emerging into the live mix, as on the unbearably tense 'Folk'. 'Tiles' throws an improv party halfway along, forcing me to check the auto-changer for a malfunction. Although most of the album is recorded live, 'Semiconductor Archive Or Longtone' samples environmental sounds from the Thames in north Greenwich's industrial area and works them around an A-flat electronic tone, the instrumentation overdubbed separately into layers of pure sound.

 

01/04/0006 Colin Buttimer, Jazzwise

Guitarist David Maleed is at the centre of events throughout most of this release. He worries away at small musical shapes, teasing them out like a cat worrying at a spider. When there's no play left in the thing, the piece ends. His approach is a little reminiscent of Tortoise's Jeff Parker, except that Maleed's style is much rawer, influenced by rock rather than the carefully swung enunciation of traditional jazz guitarists. First track, 'Slow', is sparse and moody, building to a minor climax before receding into a humming silence. 'Staccato' is another minimal piece that centres around an alternating bass and guitar figure. It seems almost to be marking time, waiting for something that doesn't ultimately happen. That description may be said to summarise the majority of Gricer's 12 tracks: a sense of pensive, brooding expectation that hovers over slowly unfolding forms. The sombre mood distantly recalls that of Bill Laswell's Baselines. A promising debut.

 

01/11/0005 The Organ Magazine

ALBUM OF THE WEEK

Cool, atmospheric and skilfully crafted exploratory post rock from London's Gricer. A much-needed arrival of homegrown talent, Gricer have made an album of quiet confidence, rich with neat little motifs, spacious and city-moody in the manner of Bark Psychosis whilst sonically closer to Trans Am and Tortoise: instrumental, jazz leaning rock, lots of space, warm minimalism.
    Talking of Tortoise, it's easy for your attention to drift with them, Gricer are strangely compelling, and prepared to rock a little more. They keep a nice tension going whilst apparently doing very little, a soundtrack for a day when something momentous may be about to happen. Listening to Gricer whilst going to the shops makes buying milk and a paper an act fraught with plot implications. Twelve elegant, self-contained pieces, varying moods (from the Rothko-like introspection of Beware Of Death to the pensive, wry groove of Staccato, the short and delightfully rhythmically complex Skin and Bone to the cheerfully upbeat Tonic) making a well-rounded whole.
    Perhaps Gricer's greatest strength is the way the music never quite falls into pure repetition, never settling down into complacent riffage just because it sounded good the first time, always a subtle change applied. This is an album that's going to withstand a lot of listens, and make Gricer a lot of friends.



 

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