Headphones are not required but you’ll need a really stompin’ sound system if you’re going to properly appreciate Front Room Methodology. Fess Grandiose’s full length LP of hip-hop and chill vibes is so dense with textures and subtle effects that you’re liable to miss the show without one. Samples aren’t snatched but “re-homed,” like orphaned children or dogs, embedded in deep and sometimes raw’as’hell tracks. The tracks work together, less a single composition than varying links in a chain that binds together the roots of modern music. Fess gets down and digs for the good shit: the swagger and stride of “Oh Hello” gives way to the psychedelic train wreck of “Love Rock” leading into the faded “Cicero.” A track that drags on becomes a drag, as Alinsky might have said: of the 21 tracks, none last longer than 3 minutes and the effect is like a half-remembered Friday afternoon in which the visuals bleed into one another while the feelings and sensations linger and remain.

I would guess I listen to parts of about 500 records a month, at least 100 in their entirety. Of those I might save 10, but I really only go back and repeatedly listen to a few. This is one of those I’ll keep. It may be a symbolic drive through Fess Grandiose’s mind and physical reality but it’s quickly wormed its way into mine.

photo by KATIE LEVINE, supplied.

Fess Grandiose: Front Room Methodology / ETC Records
1. Fess Grandiose: Front Room Chillin (Intro) (00:50)
2. Fess Grandiose: Son Shine (01:22)
3. Fess Grandiose: So… Happy (01:23)
4. Fess Grandiose: All Dope People (02:17)
5. Fess Grandiose: Interlude (Shit) (00:25)
6. Fess Grandiose: Oh Hello (02:14)
7. Fess Grandiose: Love Rock (01:23)
8. Fess Grandiose: Cicero (02:05)
9. Fess Grandiose: Cards Against Insanity (02:03)
10. Fess Grandiose: Stepout (00:42)
11. Fess Grandiose: Jaded… (02:29)
12. Fess Grandiose: Good Steez (02:14)
13. Fess Grandiose: Waaataa (01:07)
14. Fess Grandiose: Interlude 2 (More Shit) (00:38)
15. Fess Grandiose: Loose Groove (01:16)
16. Fess Grandiose: Thai Food from Chinatown (02:13)
17. Fess Grandiose: Here For You (01:41)
18. Fess Grandiose: Mood Groove (01:45)
19. Fess Grandiose: Escape To LA (01:10)
20. Fess Grandiose: Bang… (01:32)
21. Fess Grandiose: Kimball House (03:29)



5 Magazine Issue 165IN THE GROOVE: Originally published inside #5Mag165 featuring Danny J Lewis, Aakmael, Roman Zawodny & UKR, Nate Manic & more. Help support 5 Mag by becoming a member for just $1 per issue.