Established in Iberia, Grounded in Humanity

Grounded In Humanity finds itself in an enviable position both geographically and musically.

grounded-in-humanityThere’s no better way to get to know a label than over a beer. Across some local brew I was lucky to catch up part of the two-man partnership behind one of Madrid’s newest imprints. It’s a pretty admirable undertaking to start a label, especially in cash strapped Spain. Likewise many feel that Madrid hasn’t an especially good climate for electronic music. Grounded In Humanity, the brainchild of a duo who chose to remain nameless, fly in the face of such naysayers. Opening its doors last year the label has already clocked up three 12”s and two CD compilations. No style is left unturned with GiH exploring a myriad of styles from a wealth of established artists and fledgling musicians.

The first EP, Germ, saw a number of artists collected for their vinyl debut. The title is taken from the first track, a serving from an Unknown Artist. A peculiar, liquid and unapologetically trippy piece of Dub soaked abstraction to begin. Solidity forms around the low pulsations of Mitsuki and the sub-aquatic rinses of “Diver.” Alexandre Lehmann aka Zzzzra dips into a warm bath of insular Techno. House arrives in the form of Dominique Xander, a deep and dreamy piece of Theo Parrish inspired electronics before Gblanco closes. The House feel is maintained with “Stranded Nowhere.” The steady rasp of a snare supporting jazzy melodies and a bold bassline.

For their latest GiH have called upon Macedonia’s Stojche for Assembly Line. The title track, delivered by (perhaps) the same Unknown Artist from Germ, is a swamp of Ambience. Deep bars allow samples to sink, pin-pricks of percussion barely denting the thick fog. “Paradox” is thick concrete slab of Techno. Broad bass is thinned with crunching snares, crooked melodies twisting and writhing under the immense weight. The stand-out track of the EP is “Mindset.” Clean lines given colour with autumnal tones. Warm winds brush cold columns of Techno for a superb track. “Outbreak” closes. Sitting on the divide between Dub and Ambient, warm washes lap against shores of reverb in this lonesome finale.

Madrid is not a city known for its machine music output, with Barcelona being better known for electronics. But things in the Spanish capital are changing. With more and more artists, labels, record shops and club nights popping up electronic music is being nurtured like never before. Supporting this atmosphere is a tight network of like-minded folk, helpful enthusiasts and passionate practitioners that wholeheartedly bolster the scene. In general egos aren’t an issue in Madrid, especially in comparison to places like London or Berlin. With such an environment, a quality sound and an admirable roster, Grounded in Humanity finds itself in an enviable position both geographically and musically.

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1 Comment

  1. Rainer A says:

    Nice review! Great tunes!

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