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As predicted, the past two years have been mas- “When I first formed the label it was ironically right From the wicked funk-stylings of ‘Bottomfeeder’ to
sive for the man as he’s moved from strength to after I had given up trying to find distribution and the jump-massive rinse-out of ‘Hollywood’ or the
strength, flexing his style on heavy-duty imprints gave all my best tunes away to other labels,” Gridlok grimey head-fuck floorkiller known as ‘Wake Up!’,
like Moving Shadow, Human, Renegade Hardware, explains. “I was offered a deal from the now defunct the album is already causing a stir with those lucky
Charge, Violence and, of course, Virus. This year AlphaMagic (pay me bitches!) and at the time I enough to get their hands on it. Set to be released
alone he’s been on a mad bender, churning out thought I’d use that as an outlet to do a left-field as a 3x12” vinyl alongside a double-CD version
remixes and collaborations alike, all the while pre- off the wall kind of label. Although I’m a huge fan of that includes a nasty mix with some exclusive bits
paring to the release his own full-length LP, ‘Break that vibe, my roots and feelings are definitely more for the trainspotters out there, ‘Break the System’
the System’. in line with what you’re seeing come out now with is in many ways the ultimate realisation of Gridlok’s
contributions from Dom & Roland, Ryme Tyme, The career to date.
“I expected more out of all this to be honest,” says Upbeats, and especially my new album. A lot of
the ever-pensive producer as he eyeballs the next punters have a lot names for that kind of sound, but Never one to rest on his laurels, he’s the first to ad-
transition in his career. “I always believed that you I think I would narrow it to this in the words of Skitty: mit he’s still got loads more to do in both the literal
get what you give but that isn’t entirely true. There ‘That bassline that makes you do ugly screw faces!’” and philosophical sense. In demand more than ever
are too many people in the scene thriving off of as a remix artist, fans should also be looking for a
others work and I see a pattern with those of us One listen to the prodigious output from Gridlok number of collaborations with familiar and surprising
that really take the studio side of things seriously, it over the past two years and it’s obvious to see how faces alike to surface in the coming year. Also keep
takes up so much of your mind and life that you end Gridlok’s signature dark and funky “screw-face” vibe an eye on the P51 imprint itself as heads like Skitty,
up not focusing on the other things which get you has elevated him to the level it has. Of course, he’s Mindscape, Origin, Vicious Circle, Echo and Con-
noticed. Why can’t the music be enough when you the first to admit that his work ethic is borderline trolled Substance are all scheduled to roll through.
are in the business of making music?” obsessive as is his attention to the more technical
aspects of the whole production game. Having since “Philosophically, I’m planning on putting much more
Business seems to be doing just fine from our per- collaborated in the studio with the likes of Dom, emphasis on delivering a message rather than just
spective as Gridlok’s take on Tech Itch & Dieselboy’s Silver, Optiv, Ryme Tyme, Echo, Calyx, Hive and Ke- putting out shit that sounds cool,” Gridlok says when
‘Atlantic State’ as well as Sasha’s ‘Fundamental’ for aton, you’d think Gridlok would be the first to admit asked about the future. “I’ve become very dissatis-
Dieselboy’s ‘The Human Resource’ mix-project in- he knows his way around a studio pretty proper by fied with the status of the world and what we are all
stantly caught fire as did his collab ‘Standing Room now. The man is all humility when asked about his doing to it. From the environment, to petrol, to war,
Only’ with Hive, D-Bridge, Break & Silent Witness abilities: “I’ve mastered pushing the power button. to racial profiling, to CEOs sending us back into a
on Violence. Throw a ‘Squash’ remix in there as well I’ve still got lots more to learn!” state of serfdom, raves being outlawed, to UFOs
a collaboration with Ryme Tyme for 1210 and it’s and all that shit. I have a lot going on in my mind to
a miracle that an album was produced at all in the Looking back over his back catalogue thus far, the point of being tortured by it. I think most fans
midst of all that mayhem. Gridlok points to bits like ‘Heatwave’, ‘Move On’, of drum & bass are pretty intelligent and definitely
‘Violent Sound’ and ‘Standing Room Only’ as some opened-minded and at least partially aware of all
“It’s always a huge uphill battle to get your voice of his personal favourites that never seem to leave this shit. I would like only to re-state the obvious
heard and to have your tunes appreciated,” says his bag. When the talk turns back to his work on the and remind us that we can’t ignore it and have to do
Gridlok, “but at the end of the day I don’t give a fuck album, he’s quick to point out that while heads may something about it! If it even inspires a few people
about any of that so long as I’m able to continue consider this his debut in the long-player format, this then it’s worth it.”
spending my time making music. It’s definitely my is actually his second (or third, depending on your
therapy and my medicine.” perspective) trip down the LP road. Free your mind: www.myspace.com/gridlokp51 /
www.projectfiftyone.com
Determined from the beginning to turn that drive “[2001’s unreleased leftfield LP] ‘Turning Pages’
into something tangible, those closest to the pro- was actually more personal therapy than an album For all DJ bookings contact: sahra@timelessmusic.
ducer can attest to his relentless determination and to sell at stores,” Gridlok explains. “I ultimately saw org (Europe) / KGofCircle@AOL.com (USA)
unwavering belief in his ability to make things hap- that it wasn’t going to really do much for anyone
pen. A visionary if there ever was one, Gridlok knew else but me, so I’ve kept it for myself. I did a CD on
early on that his most rewarding projects would P51 several years ago called ‘Preludes’. It was a mix
eventually find themselves a home on his Project 51 of all my own tracks and that was when I first start-
imprint. Like a loyal mate through all the lean years, ed really getting familiar with album format. With
the imprint was there as a source and outlet for that said, I still consider ‘Welcome to Violence’ as my
inspiration, even as Gridlok began to find his name first real album even though it was a collaboration
gracing the likes of labels like Technorganic, Zero-G, [alongside Hive, Echo, and Keaton]. I put six months
Audio Blueprint, Thermal, Gain and Sudden Def. of my life into that project and was involved with all
but one of those tracks. I’ve been thinking about the
creation of a proper album for a long time now and
when it comes to how I’ve always envisioned my
album sounding, this is it.”
SYSTEM CHECK
Never one to shy away from the collaborative process, Gridlok called upon a number of ‘London’s Burning’ with Dom & Roland: “Roland couldn’t make it but called in advance
heavy-hitters for select cuts on his album. Listen in as we get the lowdown: saying it was OK to put his name on there. Dom and I had been working on this track for
about eight months off and on when I was in London. We were originally doing the tune
‘Hollywood’ with Elhornet (Pendulum): “I’ve wanted to work with Rob from Pendulum for for his label but I begged him to let me have it for my album. Thanks Dom!”
a while but when he went MIA while finalising our plans I said fuck it and called Paul up
LIVE O ON THinstead. For the record he proved to be verE ANTIy skilled in the studiGUA EXo and dispelled any doubts PERIENCE IN MA‘Return of the Crown’ with Shy FX: “I was hY 2007 onoured when Shy approached me at WMC
as to whether Rob was the only sick producer in Pendulum.” with the idea of us collaborating in the studio. I almost didn’t believe him! We did this one
at his studio in East London and we hit it off great. I really love the track as it is a perfect
‘Watching Us’ with MC Dino: “I’ve played with [the Los Angeles-based] MC Dino a few hybrid of his ragga bad-bwoy bizness and my dark jazz-funk vibe.”
times and it was obvious that things click between us. One day he showed up at my place
just as I was losing my mind trying to come up with the right thing for this groove I had ‘Hit the Lights’ with Optiv: “I wanted to repay Optiv for his awesome work on our last
going. I plopped him down in front of the computer with a microphone and told him to release ‘Panache’ so we planned to get together and do something for his label Red Light.
ramble off shit about conspiracy. He rocked it!” Everything turned out great and while I had already planned to put it on the mix-CD for
‘Break the System’, I was pleasantly surprised to hear it also pushed Optiv onto his debut
‘Flamethrower’ with Echo & The Upbeats: “Jeremy from The Upbeats was supposed to for Violence! We’ll still get one for Red Light soon bro!”
link up with Hive to do a track but Hive had to finish something else for a few days so
we decided to get something rolling. Echo was hitting it off with Jeremy as well so we
all teamed up for the track. Hive popped his head in one night and we ended up getting
CRAZY in the studio ‘til about 6 am.”
35
k34-35_Gridlok.indd 35 18/10/2006 12:54:18
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