The good people of Chicago really don’t need an Englishman to talk to them about a local institution like Gramaphone Records, any more than I might require your advice on how to make a decent cup of tea (just so you know, the milk goes in LAST). At the epicenter of the city’s music scene since 1969, the store has been on my list of “must visit” record shops ever since I started buying vinyl. Now with their own imprint, Gramaphone are truly putting their money where their mouth is, supporting a new generation local talent the way they know best: with lovely chunks of black wax.
This new generation of Chicago talent doesn’t come much fresher than 23 year old Garrett David, one half of the fantastic Bell Boys. From the masterfully realized, acid infused opener “Console Cowboy,” it’s very evident that the force is strong with this one. Track two “Midi Sense” sounds like the score from a tense, futuristic 1980s action movie has been dropped over House beats (in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s exactly what happened).
On the B Side, the record delves into deeper territory, starting with the insistent, hypnotic piano and drum groove “Tunnels”. The EP closes with “Morning Mantra” – a truly astounding piece of music which I can only describe as the sonic approximation of every beautiful dawn my bleary eyes have witnessed. I’m mad at this guy for the best possible reasons: he’s too young, and too damn talented.