The rising Leeds producer Graphics exemplifies the volatile, promiscuous tendencies currently shaping some of dance music's most exciting developments. His output so far may have stuck to familiar tropes—flickering garage rhythms, sped-up vocal samples, a whiff of sticky, purple dubstep—but his hybrids have never felt pro forma.
Graphics' first single for Jesse Rose's Made To Play label is his most distinctive release yet. Beneath its demure outline lurks a genuine anthem, albeit of warped proportions. In its mastery of dynamics and its strange, sing-song quality, I'm reminded of Caribou's Virgo Four remix last year, even though the tracks sound nothing alike. "Mama Grizzlies" opens with a queasy vocal duet—a male alto and its mirror, pitch-shifted to sound like a mewling infant robot—over plunking kalimba and gentle chimes, but its lullaby qualities are offset by more muscular impulses, like the loop of sped-up dancehall chatter that drives it relentlessly forward.
Graphics' "Colour Her Hair," with its trim, jacking house groove and breathy vocal, is slightly more conventional, but it's a fine track nonetheless; like SBTRKT, Graphics practices a kind of pointillistic approach, tracing his melodies in bold dots and filling in the empty space with faint rubbings that reward active listening. Prince Club's "Mama Grizzlies" remix is a not-terribly-noteworthy bass-and-drums tool; David Keno's, which is better, if still no patch on the original, offers bouncy house flecked with carnival organ and a fringe of wah-wah guitar. Roska's buzzing, grinding kicks-and-snares refix is the best of the three reworks, magnifying the track's manic spirit.
Buy Graphics - Mama Grizzlies at
Tracklist: Graphics - Mama Grizzlies A Mama Grizzlies
B Colour Her Hair
Digital: Mama Grizzlies (Roska Remix)
Digital: Mama Grizzlies (Prince Club Remix)
Digital: Mama Grizzlies (David Keno Remix)
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