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My name is GRiZ
September 5, 2012 3:25 AM   Subscribe

GRiZ - Mad Liberation. Take a 21 year old bedroom producer from Michigan, raise them on the the internet with a near complete access to the history of modern music with a focus on electronic/dance and apparently you get this incredibly humanistic and cross-cultural album that's both homage, monument and appropriation of hundreds of influences in modern music in an incredibly dubby dubstep framework. (Free album download here.)
posted by loquacious (67 comments total) 54 users marked this as a favorite

 
You had me up until 'dubstep'.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 3:52 AM on September 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


Giving it a listen - liking what I'm hearing so far.
posted by Happy Dave at 3:53 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


GallanOfAlan, check out the tags on the post.

(thanks loquacious!)
posted by mannequito at 3:53 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Listening now, but isn't Dubstep falling out of fashion in favor of Moombahton now?
posted by grajohnt at 3:59 AM on September 5, 2012


grajohnt: "Listening now, but isn't Dubstep falling out of fashion in favor of Moombahton now?"

I'd say there's more than a bit of cross-pollination evident in this record. The first track is Skrillex meets Daft Punk's Tron Soundtrack, the second is much closer to the moombahton I've heard. More as this album develops.
posted by Happy Dave at 4:04 AM on September 5, 2012


You had me up until 'dubstep'.

Trust me, it snuck by me, too.

This album has single-handedly redeemed 2nd wave dubstep for me. I wasn't a fan until right about now, and only bits of it are dubstep. There's as much jazz and funk and techno and soul and house in this album as there is dubstep.

This is different. There's possibly hundreds of samples of well known music in this album. I keep recognizing more and more stuff.

There's, like, Gershwin and Ella Fitzgerald and Satchmo buried in this alongside Chris Cross and Mingus. There's ancient bits of jazz. Brian Eno. Vangelis. Kraftwerk. Air. Daft Punk. There's bits of classic rock. I think I even hear Bassbin Twins or 2 Blind Mice samples. I hear Plastikman and Detriot techno. There's tons of hip hop samples right alongside reggae beats and dub and ragga and two step. There's tons of soul and R&B. It's like aliens took the last 100 years of music broadcasts and mashed it up into a bittersweet party soundtrack for the apocalypse.

And most of the album sounds like it's been engineered by an old master of soul/R&B vinyl, like it's meant for AM radio.

But with digital sub-bass and a mix as fresh as berries off the vine.

I'm usually the first to go "Yargh, dubstep. More like brostep." but this is different. It actually has dub. One second it's totally over the top dubstep sounds and the next it sounds like a synthline from an 80s pop and the next it's Spiraltribe.
posted by loquacious at 4:09 AM on September 5, 2012 [6 favorites]


He (?) definitely goes for a lot more variation in sampling sources than the usual bedroom producer - without descending into the usual cacophony that results when people typically do this. There's a lot of 'soundscapeyness' going on here in a good way, with surprisingly well-managed transitions between elements. I'm still undecided whether the dubstep elements are positive or negative. Still listening, though, which is a good sign ;)
posted by grajohnt at 4:21 AM on September 5, 2012


Electronic music genres are too specific. What's the use of ultra specific genres other than to pander to people with ultra specific listening tastes?
(not a criticism of this album by the way, just a general thought)
posted by memebake at 4:32 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Electronic music genres are too specific. What's the use of ultra specific genres other than to pander to people with ultra specific listening tastes?
(not a criticism of this album by the way, just a general thought)


They mainly exist to be able to verbally describe music to other people, but they also arise because original creativity is difficult, and it's also hard not to be influenced by music that you like and make music that sounds like it.

Except for the rather heavy dubstep influence, I'm posting this album because it shatters genre boundaries in a way I haven't heard very often. There's like latin jazz and torch singers mixed with reggaeton and 70s classic rock with modern hip hop and electro/breaks... just hit play again, man.
posted by loquacious at 4:38 AM on September 5, 2012


I don't know from musical references, but this is pretty fantastic.
posted by DU at 4:42 AM on September 5, 2012


Electronic music genres are too specific.

Which is why it's all labeled as Electronica in my library.

Trying to listen to this album amidst all the distractions work is so inconsiderate to throw at me; sounds good so far.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:34 AM on September 5, 2012


This is good.
posted by Fat Charlie the Archangel at 5:42 AM on September 5, 2012


2d wave dubstep?

I got nothing. Back to my Merle Haggard collection.
posted by spitbull at 6:05 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is great stuff that I never would have found otherwise. Thanks for the link!
posted by Narrative Priorities at 6:07 AM on September 5, 2012


Mmm, nice!
posted by MUD at 6:14 AM on September 5, 2012


Track 2 is an absolute _monster_. Best thing I've heard in weeks.
posted by bfranklin at 6:18 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think this is rather terrible actually - its like he took all the cheesy ideas from 90s / 00s dance music and jammed them into dogs breakfast of an album.

Its just awful.
posted by mary8nne at 6:19 AM on September 5, 2012


Halfway through first track, enjoying this very much, work this afternoon is probably going to suffer.
posted by ominous_paws at 6:26 AM on September 5, 2012


Track 9 is rather good.
posted by Happy Dave at 6:32 AM on September 5, 2012


cheesy ideas from 90s / 00s dance music

Like it or not, this is a very strange thing to say.
posted by schoolgirl report at 6:47 AM on September 5, 2012


hey youtubes
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:50 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Re genres, is there a consistent meaning to the -step and -core suffixes?
posted by Jpfed at 6:53 AM on September 5, 2012


The only musical discussions that occur on MetaFilter:

1) dubstep
2) a musician or producer has just died
posted by Jeff Mangum's Penny-farthing at 7:17 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


The only musical discussions that occur on MetaFilter:

1) dubstep
2) a musician or producer has just died


That is … false?
posted by kenko at 7:20 AM on September 5, 2012 [7 favorites]


spitbull: 2d wave dubstep?

Considering the dark, gloomy triphop + two-step of Burial et al as the 1st wave, then the wub-wub-wub style of Skrillex et al would be 2nd wave.


Jpfed: Re genres, is there a consistent meaning to the -step and -core suffixes?

D.O.A.'s Hardcore '81 is a possible point of origin for the -core term, with the "core" being the focus or emphasis on the sound. Hardcore punk was more intense than "normal" punk, where metalcore brought metal into hardcore punk rock, and rapcore added rapping and some turntablism to punk and hardcore punk.

I was going to say that 2-step (garage) was the origin of the -step suffix, but hardstep (drum'n'bass) predates the movement. Again, the suffix indicates a chance in original sound, re-focusing on a new element. In that context, dubstep only made sense in the 1st iteration or wave, when it was a merging of 2-step and dubby elements. It has since grown into something more distorted, with little to no dub featured.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:31 AM on September 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, we talk about Lady Gaga too.
posted by Nossidge at 7:31 AM on September 5, 2012


The only musical discussions that occur on MetaFilter:

1) dubstep
2) a musician or producer has just died


Don't tell flapjax.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:31 AM on September 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


(That was to kenko & Jeff. Shoulda previewed...)
posted by Nossidge at 7:33 AM on September 5, 2012


Listening to the tracks out of order because that's how they're playing in the SoundCloud mobile app. So I'm not getting the best flow but I like it anyway.

Probably an inappropriate comparison, but this is making me think of Pretty Lights, only more stompy and eclectic.
posted by ardgedee at 7:45 AM on September 5, 2012


Re genres, is there a consistent meaning to the -step and -core suffixes?

-step refers to a specific rhythm: definitely not 4/4, very likely to have a kick on the first and third beat, likely to have syncopated percussion, perhaps triplets will be involved.

Unless, as filthy light thief says, the parent genre is jungle/drum & bass, in which case hardstep, techstep, dark step, skullstep, clownstep, &c., will refer more to the palette of sounds and specific production techniques rather than the base rhythm of the subgenre.

So, dubstep is (or was originally) music with those rhythmic elements combined with elements of dub.

-core is more nebulous; I'd tend to assume music labelled somethingcore, in a dance music context, was either part of what Steve Goodman/Kode9 dubbed the 'UK hardcore continuum' - music descended from/related to hardcore rave from the early '90s - or a harder/more extreme version of an extant genre.

Or both.

E.g., if you see a piece of music described as breakcore, you can tell it's going to make use of breakbeats, that it's going to be 'harder' (and probably faster in tempo) than a piece of music described as breakbeat, and that it's quite likely to reference or contain elements familiar from hardcore rave.
posted by jack_mo at 7:54 AM on September 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, and GRiZ: I can't really see what's getting loquacious so excited, myself.

They sound like Jive Bunny doing an ill-advised tribute to Rustie after watching a couple of those YouTube videos with titles like HOW TO MAKE A BIG FARTY SKRILLEX BASS SOUND IN FRUITY LOOPS STUDIO.
posted by jack_mo at 8:05 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I always saw the ridiculous genre specification as a way to elevate and intellectualize this musical jib-jab.
posted by ReeMonster at 8:09 AM on September 5, 2012


I think this is rather terrible actually - its like he took all the cheesy ideas from 90s / 00s dance music and jammed them into dogs breakfast of an album.

I like it. Sounds kind of KLF-ish to me in places. I don't care if that sound isn't revolutionary anymore.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:22 AM on September 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


There's a hint of Avalanches there too, which isn't surprising.
posted by Devonian at 8:28 AM on September 5, 2012 [2 favorites]



You had me up until 'dubstep'.


"Outright dismissal of any musical genre is akin to racism."
(overheard maybe fifteen years ago)

"Except polka," said somebody else, and nobody argued the point.
posted by philip-random at 8:28 AM on September 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is this the part where we criticize someone much younger than us who actually produced an enjoyable sounding if-not-innovative album because apparently we're all about skipping over the fact that this guy is still old enough to be a junior in college who, as he says on his website, does not own the obnoxiously expensive equipment that so many self-wrought DJs spend their entire years worth of salaries on?

Because the new XX album is streaming on NPR if you want some professional quality sound production and studio time and tens of thousands invested in producing the perfect sound. Count me out for criticizing this album though, because for an extremely amateur effort, it's still a lot more enjoyable of a listen than Pretty Lights or Skrillex or any of the millions and millions of absolutely terrible mashups that exist on Hypemachine ever were.

Also, upon preview, polka is like the best thing when you're twelve and there's this girl you have a crush on and the danciest song you know how to bang out on the piano is this C-Major Alfred's generic bland blah polka. Because seriously, how far removed is that from The Backstreet Boys?
posted by dubusadus at 8:33 AM on September 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Electronic music genres are too specific. What's the use of ultra specific genres other than to pander to people with ultra specific listening tastes?

Just like auto racing. In the end, it's all just people driving around a track, right? NASCAR and Formula 1 are really just the same thing.

Except, you know, they're not. Doesn't mean you can't like both, though.
posted by grajohnt at 8:46 AM on September 5, 2012


Electronic music genres are too specific.

Which is why it's all labeled as Electronica in my library.


ugh. appreciate the sentiment, hate the word.

I was there, maybe 1993, when the powers-that-be deigned to assign the word Electronica to all things not bass-drums-guitar. Seriously, it was that all encompassing. Portishead and Autechre were suddenly the same kind of music -- Massive Attack and Hardfloor. It was a label that came from marketing, not any artist. And it did nothing to aid and abet successful conversation.

That said, to my mind (and ears), things have since gone way too far (and silly) the other way. For me, Techno was the word -- started with Kraftwerk, branched off nicely from there.

Techno-dub.
Techno-house.
Techno-pop ... and so on.

Finally, what Jesse Jackson said 40 years ago. "Today on this program, you will hear gospel and rhythm and blues and jazz. All those are just labels. We know that music is music [...] Our experience determines the texture, the pace and the sound of our souls."
posted by philip-random at 8:48 AM on September 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


also, this
posted by philip-random at 8:52 AM on September 5, 2012


Which is why it's all labeled as Electronica in my library.

This also makes it much easier for smart playlists, or to shuffle through it all as a single 'genre'.
posted by owtytrof at 9:06 AM on September 5, 2012


I so completely love all this and so TOTALLY don't care what the eff its called. I've never understood the need to constantly classify and perfectly describe musical genres. If its good, then its good.

Nice job Griz.
posted by cbecker333 at 9:07 AM on September 5, 2012


Well I've had this on all day and I like it a lot. So nyah.
posted by Happy Dave at 9:36 AM on September 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


For me, Techno was the word

Whereas I break out in hives at the word (not literally). Techno to me is oomph-oomph-oomph music, dumb, loud, hard, listened to by matjes and Haagse Harries in shell suits in the early nineties. Something like this as listened to by people like this.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:52 AM on September 5, 2012


ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssSNARE-RUSH!!!
posted by Sys Rq at 10:57 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love it, too. Thanks for posting it!
posted by Gorgik at 10:59 AM on September 5, 2012


The only musical discussions that occur on MetaFilter:

1) dubstep
2) a musician or producer has just died


Ridiculous. That’s only 90% of it even if you add "whiny twee stuff".
posted by bongo_x at 11:18 AM on September 5, 2012


For me, Techno was the word

Whereas I break out in hives at the word (not literally). Techno to me is oomph-oomph-oomph music,


I guess that's sort of my point. Techno does a good job of identifying that kind of music, and it's variations (I prefer boomph-boomph-boomph). All Electronica did was incongruously throw quality modern (at the time) soul, pop, r+b etc (anything that used a sampler or a beatbox but didn't have any rapping) into the same room with it, and shut the door.

My perfect record store would have two sections:

GOOD
BAD

with staff that could direct/assist you from there. The BAD section would be through a door, which would take you to a sound-proofed corridor with huge rotating knives.
posted by philip-random at 11:19 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sounds kind of KLF-ish to me in places.

Bite your tongue.
posted by bongo_x at 11:19 AM on September 5, 2012


Something like this as listened to by people like this

I suspect most techno fans would prefer it if you called that gabber. (I suppose you could make a case for Poing being the ur-text of jumpstyle, too.)

There's definitely something in the water in Holland - gabber, jump and bubbling! Bonkers.

I've never understood the need to constantly classify and perfectly describe musical genres. If its good, then its good.

If we only had 'good' and 'bad' music, going record shopping, organising your music at home, deciding which nightclub to go to on Saturday night, describing a song to a friend, &c., would all get a wee bit tricky.
posted by jack_mo at 11:23 AM on September 5, 2012


I suspect most techno fans would prefer it if you called that gabber.

No, THIS IS GABBAH.

Years and years with nothing but this on TMF.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:40 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


No, Martin, this is Gabba.

Listening and dancing to music is awesome!!
posted by erniepan at 12:16 PM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


If we only had 'good' and 'bad' music, going record shopping, organising your music at home, deciding which nightclub to go to on Saturday night, describing a song to a friend, &c., would all get a wee bit tricky.

I said I didn't understand the need to "... constantly ... classify", I did not say "WE MUST ABOLISH ALL CATEGORIES!". I find categories useful too I just get tired of dwelling on minutia.

Without apply any categorization whatsoever: I can still make totally great decisions about which club to go to based on whether or not an artist I have heard, and have liked, is on the bill - or if an artist playing there is on the same smallish label as some other artist I like. Or any number of other good reasons.
posted by cbecker333 at 12:48 PM on September 5, 2012


Now there's a party in my tummy.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:50 PM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey, I like this. Thanks for the post!
posted by wenestvedt at 1:25 PM on September 5, 2012


Bite your tongue.

No. How 'bout you hold yours?

No accounting for taste.
posted to MetaFilter by bongo_x at 10:29 AM on August 31, 2012

posted by snuffleupagus at 1:36 PM on September 5, 2012


Musical taste discussions are like playing in the ball room at Chuck-E-Cheeze.
posted by stonepharisee at 2:10 PM on September 5, 2012


> -step refers to a specific rhythm: definitely not 4/4

Say, what?! All of dubstep is in 4/4. All of every -step music is in 4/4. 99% of all electronic dance music ever written is in 4/4.

I just checked a bunch of dubstep as well as GRiZ. All 4/4, mostly with a kick on 1 and a snare on 3.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 2:24 PM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


To my ears this is pretty mediocre-- too much going on to hide the fact that there isn't really any power or a truly fantastic groove on any of these tracks. However, Griz is clearly talented, his tunes are fun and I think he can definitely build up a fanbase.

For those that like this, you might also like Pretty Lights, who has managed to take a similar sound to unbelievable heights of success through canny marketing and... lots of pretty lights at his shows.
posted by cell divide at 2:44 PM on September 5, 2012


filthy light thief thanks. My slight snark aside I'm her to learn.

You guys got a problem with polka? You don't know what you're missing. Some of that shit is the fucking heavy metal of groove musics. Read Charles Keil's classic essay "People's Music Comparatively" and you'll hear polka way differently.
posted by spitbull at 5:54 PM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


*Here* to learn of course.
posted by spitbull at 5:55 PM on September 5, 2012


And really I was snarking at myself like an old man yelling at an empty chair, which I sort of am.
posted by spitbull at 5:56 PM on September 5, 2012


> -step refers to a specific rhythm: definitely not 4/4

Say, what?! All of dubstep is in 4/4.


Probably meant four to the floor. Although I'm not entirely sure that even that's particularly true.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 11:00 PM on September 5, 2012


This album's a monster. Period. Great, great post.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 3:18 AM on September 6, 2012


Say, what?! All of dubstep is in 4/4. All of every -step music is in 4/4. 99% of all electronic dance music ever written is in 4/4.

Gah, some sort of brain-finger disconnect there - I did indeed mean four to the floor, not 4/4.

No, THIS IS GABBAH

Yay! Actually, even with a high tolerance for gabber idiocy, a couple of those were... a bit much.

Technohead were (are?) a really interesting act, though - husband and wife team, did performance and installation art pieces in the '80s, released a couple of semi-interesting clanging metal 'n' shouting type industrial albums, made the sublime Circles as John + Julie, put out a ton of good stuff in the early years of Warp, and somehow ended up at... ''I Want To Be A Hippy'. I honestly don't know if their entire career was some sort of KLF-ish art-prank, or they just decided to make the stupidest song they possibly could at the end.
posted by jack_mo at 6:57 AM on September 6, 2012


The diversity of opinion in this thread as to how this particular set of music should be categorized speaks volumes as to its currency. What it is, is fresh (to my ears anyway), which is always a beautiful thing.
posted by philip-random at 8:50 AM on September 6, 2012


re: 'pretty lights' - since it/he/etc was brought up earlier, here is a pretty interesting article about his next album. in addition to other marketing techniques, all his music, I believe, and all the music on his label, I believe, is available for free. so in that way there is a similarity here w GRiz, as well as both being sample-heavy/genre-crossing beat-based solo-/electronically-produced

http://www.times-standard.com/entertainment/ci_21463557
"Smith's next LP marks the most time he's ever spent on a record. Before he could even produce tracks for the album, he spent a year recording musicians, singers and instrumentalists in old analog studios in New Orleans and Brooklyn. Instead of digitally recording them, he recorded them on tape and cut the recordings to acetate for a more smooth sound.
...
Smith worked at Studio G in Brooklyn with Royal Family recording artists -- Lettuce and Soulive members -- as well as with the Harlem Gospel Choir and many others. In New Orleans he worked with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, “Big Al” Carson, some French Quarter street musicians and even the late great “Uncle” Lionel Batiste."
posted by J0 at 10:19 AM on September 6, 2012


memebake: "Electronic music genres are too specific. What's the use of ultra specific genres other than to pander to people with ultra specific listening tastes?"

As a person with ultra-specific listening tastes, that reads to me like "Screwdrivers are too specific. What's the use of a screwdriver other than tightening or loosening screws?"
posted by Bugbread at 7:28 PM on September 10, 2012


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