It’s been three years since the release of Leeds based Scot Grum’s début album, Heartbeats, about five years since he first came to our attention with a slew of amazing Dreamwave and Nu-Disco tracks and reMixes. In those years Grum has been quietly doing something that very few of his contemporaries from around that time have seemed to be able to do. Evolve. It wasn’t long after the release of Heartbeats that Grum started releasing Euphoric Trance tracks, then Bleep House, then Progressive tunes all the while the lazy online press was still calling him ‘Disco’. Grum forthcoming sophomore album, Human Touch, should come as a revelation to them, a slap in the face realisation that they have missed these past three years, that Grum is so much more than a Disco producer, and that is why he’s risen to the top of the pack.
The album opener, and title track, Human Touch, sets this up perfectly. A moody and emotional House tune, loaded with enigmatic, low tones and haunting vocals. Not the first track floorfiller you might expect, but a track that grasps your interest and let you know there is something more intelligent going on here than simply crowd pleasing hooks. As if to compound the genre-spanning attitude of the collection, the following track, Sunrise, is an Acid-Balearic epic. A mesmerising hands-in-the-air tune that lives up to its name. There are tracks we’ve herd before on Human Touch. Previous singles the Simple Minds referencing The Theme and the nostalgic Warehouse vibe of Everytime are present and correct. Grum delves even more into the world of late 80s/early 90s House experimentalism on tracks like Autumn, with a pure early House riff you will swear you’ve heard somewhere before it’s so authentic, and the Haçienda-meets-SynthPop classic Dance sound of Tears. As the album progresses it become more and more melodic, with Three Thousand East being a play of retro leads against touch beats and Lotta’ Love feeling the influence of Melodic Trance energy before that album brings things down to ease the listener out on the deep, synthetic, Serotonin and the Chillwave R&B of the album’s closer Eyes Shut. For fans wanting a little classic Grum Dreamwave, Raindrop totally delivers vintage keys and a big vocal hook and Feel It Everywhere’s vocoded nostalgia could easily be an early Grum single. The Nu-Disco side of things, too, is covered by the likes of In Love, with it’s Acid flavour funk. Human Touch has got enough of that rousing classic Grum feel, enough interesting experiments with genre, and enough of a timeless Dance Music DNA to keep most fans of electronic music coming back for more. Definitely recommended.
♫ Grum – The Theme
♫ Grum – Everytime
Grum’s Human Touch is released 14th April.
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