- A press shot of Gary Gritness, arms folded and holding a keytar, says a lot about where he's coming from. The French producer's house music is bathed in rich American synth-funk, influenced as much by Roger Troutman as Dr. Dre. Shorn of the Drexciyan spasms on his two EPs for Clone Crown, The Sugar Cane Chronicles Vol. 1 is a feel-good record bathed in buttery bass and sunlit synths. Its melodic dexterity speaks to Gritness's years spent as a session player for the likes of Dâm-Funk, Mike Huckaby and Louie Vega.
On "Preachin' Some Tight Game" and "Working Girls," Gritness runs wild with his keyboard, and he's at his best on these tracks. Next to them, "Fly Shit" feels undercooked and superfluous. Gritness really goes for it on "Working Girls": as it approaches a crescendo, at least three instruments jam in unison, held by a loop on the verge of bursting. It could easily have become a mess, but Gritness never gets carried away with his virtuosic performances.
The Sugar Cane Chronicles Vol. 1 draws from the same pool of ideas, but Gritness mixes things up on "Stayin' Strong Hand." Its pensive top notes help balance an otherwise sweet record.
A1 Preachin' Some Tight Game
A2 Stayin' Strong Hand
B1 Working Girls
B2 Fly Shit