Imagine if the music of the future was made by dumb robots and bug-eyed aliens, and imagine if they took the early-’80s as their reference point.
Yes, [a]Gramme[/a] are in many ways a tribute to Jabba The Hutt‘s band. They attempt a kind of organic techno-funk fusion, with post-Chic bass blowouts lurking behind sci-fi static and cracked crunching beats. But despite the fact that it’s produced by D&B desperado The Underdog, [a]Gramme[/a]’s debut is, in fact, a really rather old-fashioned affair.
Theirs is a curiously deranged sound, heightened by the similarity between vocalist Sam‘s voice and an idiot mouse. Opener ‘Rehab’ begins with a discordant post-rock riff and further degenerates into a piston-beat techno-thrash, while ‘Crooks And Criminals’ is Add N To (X) if they’d gone romo. And while there are a few kindred spirits you could point to who are attempting the same kind of angular, buzzing avant-funk (anyone on Satellite, for example), for the most part [a]Gramme[/a] are found glancing nostalgically towards the seismic bass of Public Image and the psychotic rhythms of early Talking Heads.
But as both those bands found, there’s a thin line between compulsive space-funk and convoluted jazz-funk. [a]Gramme[/a] cross it too often.