Addison Groove ‘James Grieve’

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Title: James Grieve
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Anthony Williams, AKA Addison Groove, doesn’t stay still for long. He’s already created some classic behemoths in his previous guise as the renowned Headhunter, back in Dubstep’s golden era, which feels far longer ago now than the six or seven years that have passed by in reality. The Bristol-based producer then kept heads nodding by sidestepping into the bass-heavy Addison Groove alias, mashing up an assortment of sounds, not least Chicago Juke, stripped back drum machine beats, looped hip-hop vocals and growling acid basslines.

All mainstays on his early work and first album, Transistor Rhythm, as rumour puts it, Addison’s subsequent late night musical collaborations with Sam Binga and a few other “like-minded weirdos” (such as DJ Die and MC DRS) resulted in a selection of tracks at 160+BPM tempo, much faster compared to those on the aforementioned first LP. So what we have in second long form offering, James Grieve, is a fresh mashup of drum ‘n’ bass, juke and jungle.

Older influences are still at work, with plenty of acid-tinged goodness rippling through a number of the tracks, but the main output here is pure Bristol-inspired hectic breaks. Not to mention some strong, slightly jaded sounding lyrics from Josefina, a budding vocalist and long-time friend of the producer.

As fans would expect, the production is absolutely scintillating; drum breaks that could slice through your brain abound– see the stand out Binga collab 11th, or equally DJ Die’s joint effort, 167 Blast – the rolling funkiness is practically visible. But the amount of depth in the spacious, textured atmospherics is also impressive, with tunes like Warp, Spirit Level and Space Apples so well designed you can feel the arrangements massaging your kick-and-snare-battered nerve endings.

In many ways then this is that rare gem of a dance album, one that has the full on energy to smash it on a floor, whilst also being ideal for the home. Variety is key to it’s appeal, so something like Bad Seed, with it’s funky percussion and techy soundbites, are totally in keeping with the rest of the album. It all sounds like Addison and his collaborators making good music they enjoy, without the constraints of genre labelling, and that confident swagger- along with a clear sense of humour (check DRS and his random lyrics)- has Addison improving on Transistor by quite some distance in our humble opinion.