Existing outside the confines of strict dancefloor sounds, Gramrcy’s killer debut release is out now on Berceuse Heroique sublabel Ancient Monarchy. The label is dedicated to ‘raw UK shit’ – refracting the golden-age jungle and DnB sounds of Reinforced and Metalheadz through a fresh attitude, looking for a way forward by remixing the past.
Gramrcy’s sound, which can be introspective, dark, and uncertain at times, finds full on slaughter mode on its lead track. Ruffian is an apocalyptic peak time banger, sweaty hardcore juggling cartoonish samples with a dubwise techno swagger. Featuring a submerged re-synth from Hessle Audio-endorsed producer Bruce and a jittering remix of the B-side from Hodge, it revels in a reluctance to take itself too seriously.
“I’m good friends with Tessela, and he gave me the breakbeat that ended up on Ruffian,” Gramrcy explains. “Then I found a strange CD-based magazine made by British expats living in Singapore at my Nan’s house and that’s where most of the other sounds came from.”
Much like his peers Tessela, Hodge and Bruce, the music of Gramrcy breaks free of stylistic shackles, straddling a gloriously indefinable line. “When people ask I’ve defaulted to saying ‘weird techno’, but I’m not too sure what I mean by that,” he admits. “I just make this stuff because I don’t know how else to get these ideas out.”
Not much is known about the newcomer – a quick search will reveal his music has been proliferating online since early last year via various radio rips as well as his affiliation with Housework, the Bristol clubnight co-run by Shanti Celeste and Golesworthy that brought Anthony Naples, Kassem Mosse, John Swing and Jane Fitz down to the city’s Motorcycle Showrooms venue (RIP).
And though he’s yet to define his style, if you were to seek out one sonic element that binds it together, it’s the juxtaposition of the alien and the familiar. “I made Bargain Jam after listening to Vessel’s first album and wanting to make something slow and mushy and sludgy,” he reveals. “I listen back to it and honestly have no idea what it’s made of.”
With an EP for Charles Drakeford’s (he of Boiler Room fame) label FTD out later this year, things are just getting started for Gramrcy. It certainly looks promising; after all, he’s emerged from a pool of unswervingly determined producers. “It really gives you a kick to get your shit together and make tracks. I don’t send my music out to many people, but having those few whose opinion you value makes all the difference.”
Shed / Hodge