Following on from his Canadian love affair with Feel U on the Montreal label Collect-Call and Elegy on Vancouver based 1080p records, Australian producer Mall Grab has capped off an amazing year with his Alone EP on the shiny new vinyl only imprint Shall Not Fade. The analogue like grittiness of this 4-track is something that warms me to my core. Even considering the current saturation of true/imitation analogue styles currently sweeping the market, Alone EP holds its own through its determined imperfections.
Happiness is a killer opener that—even after the dozenth listen today—compels me to move. Those syncopated hats are magical and the punchy, compressed kick gives the track all the momentum it needs to send you tumbling over the edge, away from the smell of spilt vodka and warm beer towards something catchy and beautiful.
Orange County keeps up the pace while stepping back a little and giving us some time to recharge before the titular track. I find the constant background noise in the track kills some of the lush lo-fi goodness by taking away its room to breathe, but all in all makes for a great listen if you’re down with that classic Australian up-beat sound.
Alone is a masterclass in how microscopic imperfections in a sound can take a track from static to stellar. The opening coarse yet buttery drone, the ever so slightly behind the beat rhythms, the beautifully crushed ride; no sound in this track is the same as its predecessor and that gives it a subtle but inspiring momentum.
Real (Dawn Mix) rounds out the EP on a more club oriented note with one of those “why didn’t I think of that?” bass lines: simple, groovy and catchy.
It’s the small irregular crackling, the breaks and fades, the ever shifting nature of those crushed hats that give this set so much flavour. Mall Grab has used everything he’s learned this year to nail shut this EP and showcase a rare talent that I’m itching to hear more from.