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  • Filed under: Review
  • 01/30/2013

Rick Grant "Crossing"

Rick Grant seems to be far from a prolific producer. He first emerged back in 2011, delivering an excellent EP in collaboration with Jack Dixon on George Fitzgerald's then-fledgling ManMakeMusic label, but since then, he's remained all but inactive, at least on the production front. It's a shame, as if that EP and this follow-up—limited to a single track and three accompanying remixes—are anything to go by, he's a talented producer worth keeping an eye on.

Stylistically, Grant's work follows a similar path to his more established associates Dixon and Fitzgerald; "Crossing" blends the subdued moods of late-night garage with an infectiously melodic bassline and intricate yet energetic percussion. Compositionally, there's nothing hugely unique about the track—the delicate 2-step rhythm which drives the song is a mainstay of post-dubstep London, while the build-and-release atmospherics come borrowed from the tried-and-tested formula of numerous Hotflush releases. Yet Grant handles these elements with skill, displaying a clear ear for melody and a delicate touch. It's a track that's unlikely to set the world on fire, but it's undeniably a fine mood-setter and a finely crafted piece of dance music.

The three accompanying remixes each take the original's atmospherics and build out on them in different directions. London drum & bass producer Consequence's "Crossing Paths Remix" ups the tempo and adds a mechanized, glitchy rhythm to the track, resulting in something that vaguely resembles Autechre at its most accessible. Mr Lager, on the other hand, turns "Crossing" into a churning and slowly progressing work of low-end-oriented house that breaks the 10-minute barrier. It's Jack Dixon's contribution that stands out as the EP's highlight though; the song offers eight minutes of spacious house that keeps the muted, melodic air of the original intact, but repositions it across a dancefloor-ready 4x4 beat and multiple layers of rhythmic, reverb-heavy synths.

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