Gridlock :: Formless (Hymen)

498 image 1San Francisco’s Mike Wells and Mike Cadoo (a.k.a Gridlock) have set the framework for a new direction of casual chaos on their most recent release with Hymen Records entitled Formless. Blending empty spaces, crumbling percussion, and a detailed magnetic calm throughout, it’s no wonder that they’ve attracted a wide audience over the past several years moving from their Industrial roots to the more melodic-driven experimental sound-escapes of today. Formless continues where Trace (Possessive-Blindfold) left off..

Both Wells and Cadoo have a passionate mission of reaching to others with their musical talents: Wells is a Mastering Engineer at 5-25 and has worked with several respectable labels to create a clean and crisp sound texture. Cadoo manages the highly regarded n5MD Record Label and has released a solid roster of internationally based electronic artists. As a collaborative duo, Gridlock has worked with several labels including Metropolis, Zod, Hymen, Possessive-Blindfold, Unit, and Component to name a few.

Formless is their latest musical incision into a place that is desolate and visually unique. Reality consistently flickers through layers of abrasive beats. Transformed ambience, smoothness, and chaos drips into one fluid channel as the mechanics of Gridlock’s percussion glues itself to thick atmospheric threads. It’s easy to assess the sincere digital harmonies of this emotive release as it constantly plucks at the heartstrings in a way that is remarkably fine-tuned. And this is just the beginning of what transpires.

Delving Into Gridlock Space ::

Gridlock gradually designs a tranquil place filled with post-industrial mechanics rolled up into circular rhythms that are fragile, displaced and oftentimes quite peaceful. “Formless” beings roam about on disturbed soil as another world is subtly created. A breathtaking view of the horizon sheds its colors while cold frequencies wisp by without a trace. An electrical pendulum of sounds drifts into a place defined by rhythmic shapes. Formless is a reactive landscape ready to implode.

Describing sound isn’t as easy as it might seem. Likewise, Formless doesn’t just unfold, it creates. When an album forms such vivid pictures, then it has, in a way, performed its function. In a non-traditional style, Formless not only develops these pictures, but it delivers fragments that the listener can mold to their own satisfaction. Forming a place that is unique to each individual; hence its “formless” foundation. Instead of describing sound, Formless describes a place for each attentive listener to associate with.

Not forgetting this albums substantial pulse, Gridlock’s signature is firmly etched within the fabric of each musical piece. The engulfing ambiences and fractured beats are sure to stand the test of time as they gravitate in a distant, surreal place. Combine with that, a dark sheet of meandering thoughts occuring during each listen, and the immediate reaction is to question your current reality. Formless is that intense.

As one of 2003’s most vividly complex albums, Formless sparks its own musical genre that is clearly light-years ahead of itself. The vehicle for such creativity is manifested through the use of abstract electronics and spacious ambiences on this multi-directional, picturesque release by Gridlock.

Formless is available on Hymen.

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