- I first heard Drew Gragg via White Material's Galcher Lustwerk, who opened a radio mix with his track "Metroplex Theme." Slow and hiss-draped, this was deep house with an intimate twist. The bassline might have been pure Mr. Fingers, but the gorgeous twinkling chords repeatedly quested off into more distant realms, like standing on a packed dance floor thinking wistfully of home and bed. A few months down the line, the track receives pride of place on Gragg's debut EP, for Nicolas Jaar's Other People label.
Over-Under is essentially two mini-EPs—one to each side—showcasing two distinct strands of the Montreal producer's sound. The A-side best explains why Jaar came calling: fashioned from rich acoustic instrumentation and delicate beats, these three tracks exude a sort of hi-def aimlessness that makes them very pleasant coffee-table fare. "1" sees harps and meandering, wordless vocals lead the way, while the briefer, piano-led "Ostinate" could almost have been culled from an ECM recording. "ADSR Toms," centred on the titular pitched tom-toms, is a tad more synthetic. All three slip dreamily by without making much of an impression, but in the time-honoured easy listening tradition, that's probably the intention.
Over on the B-side the basic materials are the same, but their deployment is grottier and a touch more geared towards the dance floor. It's a small difference but a significant one. "Refraction" is a lilting delight, but "C Trigger" is particularly striking. Don't let the feather-lightness of its chords fool you—there's a pretty chunky slow-techno throb under there, which generates a pleasing tension. Rounding off the EP, "Metroplex Theme" remains Gragg's finest hour, but there's plenty here to suggest that his best is yet to come.
03. Adsr Toms
05. C Trigger
06. Metroplex Theme