Relative unknowns Gramme recorded this brief but instantly likeable six-song EP in 1997 at the dawn of the post-punk resurgence and then disappeared, but not before helping to pave a golden road for like-minded acts to follow. Or so Output honcho Trevor Jackson might have you believe, who through his band, Playgroup, and his label and production work could claim status as godfather behind reviving interest in the once-antiquated rhythms of <i>punque-funque</i>. Truth is, those stars had been aligning for awhile, but these rough and rowdy four-track sketches make me a believer by drawing from, you guessed it, British early-’80s death-disco faves PiL, A Certain Ratio and fellow dual-bassers Delta 5.
Acting as producer under the moniker Underdog, Jackson layers tinny violin and gurgling synthesizer over the schoolyard-funk chant of “Crooks and Criminals.” Jah Wobble-style earth-quaking bass lines, slapdash drumming and chanteuse-style hysterics propel “Like U,” a stomper of a track that seems to find its way into WYNU’s “Beats in Space” host Tim Sweeney’s playlists every week or two. For a program at the forefront of making “dance,” “noise” and “punk” compatible terms, inclusion in its eclectic mix is as good a recommendation as you will get.
Listen to “Like U“ (requires RealAudioPlayer)
Listen to “Rehab” (requires RealAudio Player)