Simon Grab - Extinction [OUS - 2019]Zurich-based sound artist, Simon Grab, releases his first EP on -OUS records with Extinction. The opening salvo from his long term project, Pulse, Grab sculpts electronic and apocalyptic soundscapes for a post-human world. Recorded as a live session, Extinction captures the ephemeral sonic output as it pours forth, adding an honesty and urgency to the mix.
Pulse is a very apt moniker for Grab's no-input mixer approach on Extinction. Opening with "Prelude," the EP pulses forth (*groan*...look, I said it was apt!) with a determined force that brings with it more oscillations, mechanical reverberations, and low, grinding synthesizer lines. Like a hypnotic train ride through a bleak, mechanized, robo-city, "Prelude" sets the stage for the three tracks that follow, and quickly establishes Grab's vision for the project and EP. Like eyes opening and the world popping into one's existence, "Awakening" throbs slowly while the sounds pop into life and growth begins. Layers form and start to gather, swirling forth in a near whale-song style of being. Adding a different dimension to Existence, "Awakening" furthers the bleakness, but with a refreshing approach. Following along with this darker, more freely composed attack, "Memory Storage" get down into the guts of this mech-world at the cavernous, conduit laden inner workings. The most grim and chthonic of the EP, "Memory Storage" makes full use of reverb and oscillation to promote the expanse, and extends the scope of Extinction in quick time. Finishing off the EP is the non-interlude, "Interlude." Bookending Extinction with pulses in a similar fashion as "Prelude," this fairly aggressive number brings back the fast paced trek through a metallic, grim landscape of a futuristic, robotic world. Crispy, thick, and almost danceable, "Interlude" wraps up Extinction nicely, and leaves the listener wanting more.
Simon Grab's Pulse project brings forth his thick, electronic, near industrial side, and his first EP, Extinction, blasts forth efficiently and with very entertaining results. A nice teaser to what will hopefully be more albums, Grab's latest electronic offering is dark, but very accessible. Being only four fairly short songs, it moves quickly, but it does a lot in that time and definitely serves itself up for repeated spins.Paul Casey