Gridlock

Trace

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On the inside cover of their third release, Gridlock have provided the dictionary definition of the album's title, Trace, as "an indication of the former presence...a vestige." This can be seen as a summary of the whole release, in a distinct case of less being more. Trace is more of the noisy soundscape that Gridlock have become known for (especially from their previous release, Further), but with fewer sounds. The result is a clinically sparse, compelling IDM sound that marks a departure from their previous dense and ethereal releases. "Fix" is as much a song as an exercise in sound design, while "Front" is a classic Gridlock dreamscape, modeled with the new method. At the end of the release, "Voiceless (Vcam Remix)" could be mistaken for IDM change agents Autechre, although this arrangement sports that special Gridlock something. In between, a variety of uniquely arranged soft and hard soundscapes provide a range of aural mood. Interestingly, and presumably to reduce the clutter, Gridlock have dropped vocals from this release entirely. Electronic music fans drifting into more complex tastes or IDM fans looking for something beyond the breakbeat will definitely find something they like on Trace, both Gridlock's sparsest and strongest release.

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