Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Grandtheft - Quit This City EP (Review)

This past Friday (October 30th), Grandtheft finally released his much anticipated Quit This City EP on Diplo's Mad Decent label. Ever since his performance at Bestival on Toronto Island this summer, it was clear that Grandtheft was sitting on a bunch of unreleased gems, the first of which he premiered via a recap video. Of course, I've been a fan of both Grandtheft and Sleepy Tom for years now, so the thought of these two working together was something I could have only dreamt of. When I first saw the video I immediately reposted it on my friend's wall with the caption "best collab ever?" I think we have our answer. These guys are incapable of disappointment.
While "Hold On" was the lead single, and standout track from the EP, the second single and title track is simply amazing. With flawless vocals laid-down by Lowell and the combination of atmospheric synths, Grandtheft's inimitable drums and badman bass stylings all wrapped around seemingly biographical lyrics, "Quit This City" is a picture perfect illustration of the ethos and sound of this brilliant release from one of Canada's biggest and brightest DJ/Producers. Enjoy the video for Quit This City below.

Since the two tracks above were available prior to the EP's full release their hype has been significantly higher than the rest of the EP, but by no means are the other tracks to be slept on. Furthermore, it can easily be debated whether the collab with Sleepy Tom is the best of the EP. Grandtheft treats us to "All The Way Up" with Brasstracks, "So Wavey" with Jesse Slayter, and "Boogie and Ball" with fellow Canadian trap lord Lambo. Clearly, Grandtheft has deservedly earned the respect of his peers to bring in such great talents.

The opening track, with Brasstracks and the vocal stylings of Lia Ices, sets the mood for the EP with a lovely string and orchestral feeling intro that delves into that classic Grandtheft twerk and bounce vibe. He does a great job of incorporating the signature Brasstracks horn sounds, with his snappy drumming getting us "All The Way Up" while helping us get down to the bassline sound.

The second track is the aforementioned collab with Jesse Slayter, "So Wavey." Grandtheft and Slayter combine to create a bleepy, bouncy and (of course) wavy track. The bassline is bent, tweaked  and manipulated, as is the vocal refrain. Slayter sprinkles in just the right amount of the Jersey Club
inspired sound effects, like the water droplets and playful high register synth fills.

Fourth on the tracklist is a bit of a change up, in the track "Politics" with Jamaican vocalists Kabaka Pyramid. This one just has the feels of a throwback to some unknown time. It features a full sound that bounces and bounds through its use of Pyramid's repeating, constant sing-songy accent.

The EP is rounded out with "Summer In The Winter" featuring vocals from fellow Torontonian, Fantatic Modern, that hit you right in the feels. The music and subject matter, like the vocals, are perfect for this time of year, and the strange weather that we're so used experiencing in Toronto; frost last week and 20s this week. You can't help but fear the inevitable winter, however it's afternoons when you get that last really nice day; all while enjoying some great music. This track rounds out the EP in the best way it can; great production paired with soaring vocals, and a strong dose of the feels.

This EP is a must listen, each track could easily stand on its own, but when put together they are a formidable musical achievement from a staggering collection of talents. Grandtheft tells us who he is and what he's capable of; Grandtheft doing his best Grandtheft.