We Have a Technical 209: His Name Is

Gridlock
The Mikes in Gridlock-step.

It’s a Q & A episode of We Have A Technical this week, with Patreon backers supplying questions both broad and specific. From drugs to Gridlock, from DJing to Trust Obey, we’re fielding queries dealing with all corners of Our Thing! You ask: we answer. Or at least use your queries as an opportunity to climb aboard some of our favourite hobby-horses. Also, comments on recent shows by Poptone (Tones On Tail, Love & Rockets) and Fever Ray! Don’t forget to rate and subscribe on iTunes, Google Play Music, or download directly or stream from Spotify or the widget down below.

15 Replies to “We Have a Technical 209: His Name Is”

  1. Plenty of bands imitated Gridlock, but nobody quite sounded like them. Stendeck and Lorn are probably the closest.

  2. Stupid question, non Patreon asker (and yes, I need to fix that at some point):

    Are transcripts available anywhere for those of us with hearing impairments due to genetics or too many nights of amplifier riding?

    If not, I’ll continue to muddle through. Thanks!

    1. Hi Don! We do not currently have transcription (it would be a mammoth task for us to undertake and we don’t have the resources) but if you ever need clarity on anything because we mumbled or were unclear feel free to reach out to us here or via e-mail! 🙂

  3. I honestly don’t know if Lorn ever even heard Gridlock, but _Further_ really seems like ground zero for a lot of Lorn’s aesthetics.

  4. Ok, so this might be a bit controversial here, but, just bear with me. First off; I’m a big Gridlock fan and have been one almost from the beginning. But I have to strongly take issue with the sentiment that no one has done anything quite like it or ever caught up to what they were doing. To me this only makes any sense if you’ve never heard early and mid 90’s Autechre. I agree with Alex that The Synthetic Form has its roots in electro industrial and is a direct dissident of Skinny Puppy. However Further is pure early 90’s Autechre. Incunabula (debut), Anvil Vapre (1995j and Chiastic Slide (1997) contain all the signature elements found in Further. Just listen to these for example.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wf0RmNY0Vso
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iuGXsGTb82c
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-8ZeEHp0afA
    And this is the opening track to Incunabula, Autechre’s classic debut from 1993
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LoiDBWTltSk
    I bring this up here not to devalue Gridlock at all, I remain a fan. But if we are going to speak about artists imitating Gridlock then we most be prepared to equally recognize and acknowledge that, let’s face it, Gridlock was simply imitating various aspects of the Autechre sound. Let’s give credit were credit is due.

    1. I would agree that 90s Autechre was certainly an influence on Gridlock, but would disagree that what they did amounted to “imitating” aspects of their sound. There’s a commonality in how they treat syncopated rhythms and stereo placement of sounds, but those are also elements you can find in tracks from Aphex Twin of the era (thinking of Ventolin as an example) as well as more strict contemporary rhythmic noise acts they would have been conversant in (like Imminent Starvation’s Lost Highway Exit).

      What makes Gridlock special isn’t that they sprung fully formed with no precedents – and if I implied that it was unintentional – but that they synthesized those IDM and industrial sounds in a way that still sounds unique to me.

  5. Sure, I’d certainly agree with all that. Aphex twin was another artist which also came to my mind in this context. I think perhaps that “imitating” was an ill-chosen word here. That said, I think it’s very easy within strictly industrial circles to overlook the influence of those “IDM” artists, artists like Autechre and Aphex Twin especially, but not only (Christoph De Babalon’s classic If You’re Into It, I’m Out Of is another which springs straight to mind), on the development of technoid. I was into Autechre first before I discovered Gridlock, so I’m coming at this from a different background and within a different context.

    1. Yeah good point, our background and who we were familiar with first will colour how we see it. If we’re tossing out electronic artsist who influenced the development of the tehcnoid sound, I think Speedy J should be in the conversation for sure!

      1. Yes, agreed!! You know, this has really got me thinking. In my opinion, early Rephex and Warp records were fundamental not only for technoid but also in my opinion rhythmic noise. I mean, just listen to Cylob’s Industrial Folk Songs, which comes out in 1995, just before rhythmic noise begins to develop into its own thing. This album is pure pure rhythmic noise, but not on Ant-Zen or Hands, but on Rephex. Just listen to this, pure classic
        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=stRKtWxGcKk
        And while we are on the topic of music which influenced/pre-dates rhythmic noise, how about Jeff Mills – this comes out in 1992 btw
        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_bwavzhPoms
        and on industrial techno tip also from 1992
        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MkZ3gPWYxc8

  6. Not looking to enter the discussion too much..
    But two years ago a good friend on his way out requested Gridlock’s “Return” (from Formless) be played at his funeral.

    It was an…. experience. Still can’t listen to it the right way..

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