BEST NEW EDM: JACK GRACE - US
Australian producer Jack Grace mines the post-Dubstep underground for Future Bass inspiration on “Us”!
Tracking and tracing electronic music has been weird and wonky since the explosion - and dissolution - of Dubstep (RIP). The once vital, militant, artsy combination of tectonic bassweight and weird, shuffling rhythms became a parody of itself in the hands of American bro-step/Monsterstep DJs and producers. Dubstep lost a lot of its heart, the emotional/intellectual core that made those wobbles so effective, becoming just more tweaked-out generic rave fodder.
Dubstep has evolved in a number of interesting directions since it went mainstream. Some producers fused Dubstep’s sub-bass and shifting rhythms with other dance music genres, like techno or house music. Others mined the ethereal/emotional side of Dubstep pioneered by Britain’s Burial, laying a foundation for today’s alt r&b/future r&b. Producers like James Blake would layer delicate, heartbroken vocals over polished beats and woozy synths, creating one of the most exciting and pertinent permutations of Dubstep.
JACK GRACE - US
Australian producer Jack Grace has spectacularly fused future r&b with Dubstep’s best features on “Us.” Grace’s beats never stand still for a second, kicking like a felt-wrapped cannon. This creates a hypnotic tapestry for Grace’s falsetto croon, very similar to James Blake, and appealing to a similar crowd. “Us” is pure nightside dancefloor fodder for losing one’s self in the fog machine at 2 am.
“Us” gives us hope that the future of emotional, well-crafted dance music/synthpop has not run out of ideas. There is still room to express our weird, disconnected, cyborg existence; our distant romances; the loneliness that comes from being constantly connected yet never really connecting. We Are: The Guard want to hear more producers and songwriters pull off this android romanticism to create something new instead of merely rehashing what has come before.