Whenever I think of the late 90’s and early 2000’s, I think, “MistakesWereMade.jpg should’ve been my coat of arms,” just like many other young nerds who didn’t fit in anywhere. However, to others, it was a magical time where people were pioneering the new ways to access music, communicate, and pretend you weren’t ugly with the help of tilting a camera. The album in which I came across happens to be an album remembering nicer times of the early 2000’s, and after the jump, you can compare this to your current Top 8 and see who you’re bumping off to make room.
‘+Add Me’ is a joint EP produced by artists Blood Code and Graz. According to the duo, this project was “An oldschool social media throwback release dedicated to the days of Myspace angles, scene hair and downloading music off of KaZaA.” After a brief flashback of remembering how KaZaA was the equivalent of giving your computer AIDS in exchange for free music, I figured I was in for an interesting ride.
The first half starts out with Blood Code’s three tracks. ‘Luma’ serves as a good introduction track to set the expectation for the rest of this album, as it provides a lot of the elements you hear throughout the release. There are a lot of percussion and rhythm changes in order to break up monotony, along with plenty of reverb laden arpeggios to help give depth to the song; the vocal samples bring some focus to the melody, and plentiful portamento effected basslines abound. All of these things remind me of late 90’s and early 2000’s dance music tropes. ‘DADoEs’ takes an interesting turn with a harder house percussion rhythm. With the elements full of reverb, arpeggios and note fills reminiscent of Pac-Man and other arcade games, this track has more of an early 2000’s trance vibe. The third track is a cover of Alkaline Trio’s ‘This Could Be Love’. This is where a more prominent bass line prevails over autotuned lyrics and feels more like a modern pop cover in comparison. Overall, Blood Code’s contribution has a very enrapturing atmosphere in regards to dance music. It pulls you in, it shows you the depth and beauty of where it can go, and lets your mind wander around all the details (both subtle and obvious) laid out infront of you. I’m excited to hear what comes next from this artist.
On Graz’s half of the album you are immediately introduced to a drum and bass rhythm, which at this point almost seems synonymous with Graz. I went in expecting to hear music primarily through the use of LSDJ. Instead, this EP took a less expected term and uses tweakbench VSTs such as Peach alongside samples made from LSDJ. What results is less limitations in regards to solid drum & bass percussion programming, thick bass lines and clearer grime breakdowns. Along with this are plenty more samples referencing mid-to-late 90’s video games such as Super Mario World, Mario Paint and others. The following track is a remix of Metro Station’s ‘Shake it’, which uses a four-note ostinato pulse that carries the pop-centric key. However, once we finally reach ‘Cum With The Chune’, I got a much more expected vibe from a Graz EP.
This track is complete with deep bass leads, rhythmic vocal samples, higher-octave accompaniments, multiple polyrhythms and more than enough bed squeaks to keep your New Jersey club-going friend satisfied. As much as I was originally surprised to hear such a direction that steered away from LSDJ, I can now get a better picture of Graz’s strength in percussion rhythms when he works with less limitations. I would not be surprised to hear more expansion in versatility with this artist in the future, but still very much look forward to any more LSDJ or otherwise chip-centric work he produces.
‘+Add Me’ is a fun little album you should certainly pick up in the event you are looking to add to your collection of silly but uniquely danceable tracks. While not expecting virtuoso-level content from any album that gives tribute to the days of Myspace and KaZaA, this album also certainly shouldn’t be overlooked for its lighthearted conceptual nature. There are a lot of catchy rhythms and currently-fashionable music tropes that, much like Myspace and KaZaA, might end up showing its age and eventually being archaic in nature. Even with those, a solid understanding of techniques from within the umbrella-genre that is Electronic Dance Music have given Blood Code and Graz a solid framework to make something even potentially archaic in nature have a genuinely timeless vibe. Come in for the chuckles, stay for the solid original content.