It's half seven on a Friday night and Radio 1's Annie Mac is queuing up a brand new record, ‘Everytime’, 5 minutes of bittersweet house music that by Monday morning will have featured in the sets of everyone from Hot Since 82, Ejeca and Scuba to John Digweed and Groove Armada. Scottish producer Grum is back and just like Annie it seems that everyone, is "really, really feeling this". Read More...
It’s half seven on a Friday night and Radio 1’s Annie Mac is queuing up a brand new record, ‘Everytime’, 5 minutes of bittersweet house music that by Monday morning will have featured in the sets of everyone from Hot Since 82, Ejeca and Scuba to John Digweed and Groove Armada. Scottish producer Grum is back and just like Annie it seems that everyone, is “really, really feeling this”.
It’s fair to say that Grum enjoyed a meteoric rise, from the moment that his first single, Runaway, appeared in 2009 clubbers and DJs alike fell in love with melodic approach to dance music. His debut album, Heartbeats, released in 2010 cemented his position as one of electronic music’s most exciting new talents, earning praise everywhere from the pages of Mixmag through to the News of the World.
By the end of 2010 he’d been named as both Best Electronic Artist of the year on iTunes and the second most blogged artist in the world on Hype Machine just behind Radiohead. For some the pressure to follow up that success would be too much but for Grum the experience would spur him on to take his production to the next level.
“Looking back Heartbeats was simple really, everything was new to me and I was just having fun making music, I wasn’t really thinking about the context in which it would be experienced. When it came out though I was DJ’ing more and more and that really affected the way I looked at producing.
You see first hand how dance floors react, how certain tracks can create those moments in clubs that move people, moments they remember afterwards. I knew I wanted to distil that, to make music that would have an impact and stay with people long after the lights have gone up.”
As the DJ offers came flooding in and the stages got bigger and bigger, Graeme began to think of himself as a DJ as much as a producer. That experience of playing week in, week out, the skill of keeping both demanding dance floors full and yourself interested began to shine through in his productions.
With everyone after his golden touch, Graeme has had plenty of opportunities to experiment with his sound. Remixing some of the biggest names around such as the Pet Shop Boys and Lady Gaga, he has been able to refine his approach, relentlessly road-test his new productions in clubs and at festivals and develop the sound that would become his new album, Human Touch.
“The experience of playing to these big crowds, it made me demand more from my productions. I knew I had to take it to the next level, but it isn’t about turning everything up and just trying to make the most ridiculous sounds. I wanted to focus more on melodies, bring a sense of drama back into electronic music. I’ve been listening and buying dance music for over a decade now and I feel I have some responsibility towards it.”
That sense of history, of a genuine love of dance music, runs throughout Grum’s new material. Taken as a whole his new album, Human Touch, reads like a love letter to the past three decades of electronic music. Buried within its DNA you’ll find echoes of everyone from Orbital to Deep Dish, Alan Braxe to Way Out West, standing on the shoulders of giants Grum has lifted his music up to new levels and provided a new template for dance music to follow.
Electronic music may bigger than ever but many of it’s biggest names seem to be heading towards a dead end, locked into a sonic arms race to produce the loudest, biggest, brashest tracks that make no sense removed from the context of stadium sized arenas. Grum’s return is more welcome than ever, the lightness that he brings to his productions, the sense of euphoria and focus on melodies and above all the human touch that is missing from so much electronic music today is now needed more than ever.
- Grum partakes in Q&A with Vice's Thump
- Grum's "Everytime (Andre Com Remix)" premiers on Data Transmission
- Grum's "Everytime" (Extended Mix) is exclusively available on MixMag
- Grum featured in DJ Magazine
- Grum featured in NME
- Grum feature article in IDJ
- Grum featured in ITunes Rewind: Best of 2010 Albums
- Grum's Heartbeats featured by NME
- Grum feature in Prefix mag
- Grum interview in URB