Addison Groove – ‘Presents James Grieve’ (50 Weapons)

It has been said about Modeselektor that they perfectly mix accessibility and radicalism in their music. If this is true then Bristolian producer Addison Grove would appear to fit neatly into their 50 Weapons aesthetic. The ‘weapons’ consist of mostly interesting tracks aimed unashamedly below the hips. Addison Groove has two loves musical loves that shine throughout on his oddly named new release. Acid and Drum and Bass (in its many modern shapes and sizes). That mix of the ever dependable, although now fairly conservative, Acid sound as well as a dedication to exploring the more creative strands of Drum and Bass (namely Footwork) is what gives Addison his groove. Yeah I went there…

Armed with his X0XB0X (a TB 303 clone), trusty TR 808 and what I’m pretty certain is a Korg Monotron, Groove sets out a diverse but surprisingly cohesive album. Bar the average and always obligatory ambient interlude (Malus) Groove rarely strays from the one, two punch of Acid and Jungle. That focus isn’t exactly limiting though as there’s always an effort made on every track to experiment with staple sounds. ‘Space Apples’ takes worn samples and reinvents them after a sparse and suitably spacey intro.

Rather frustratingly, the album features exclusive tracks depending on what format or digital store you purchase it from. Irritatingly, for what I fear will be the majority of Hyponik readers easily the best track of the bunch ‘Pippin’ is a Beatport Exclusive. Any 303 heads out there without a Beatport account should seriously consider creating one just to hear this perfectly executed Acid Footwork. The track evokes fond memories of Addison Groove’s collaboration with DJ Rashad last year. 

Collaborations on the album are mostly of very high quality. ‘Just You  feat. Josefina’ could easily become one of the crossover tracks of the year with its Bristol Dubstep vibe crossed with pop friendly female vocals. ‘167 Blast feat. DJ Die’ on the other hand is footwork through and through with is unsurprising considering DJ Die’s track record. Not all collaborations are golden though. The collaboration with the usually stellar Sam Binga is marred by obnoxious lyrics about ‘lash’ and ‘hashtags’ by MC DRS. As an instrumental, this track could really excel.

There’s a lot to like about Groove’s approach. While other more ‘avant-garde than thou’ producers might push the limits of sound much further than Addison Groove dares to, it’s important to remember a clichéd but nevertheless insightful truth.  Electronic music will only evolve if people will actually dance to your emerging style. In that sense this album should be considered a real success.

Click HERE to purchase on Vinyl or CD, digital formats available from 28th February.

William Warren

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