Review: Gridlok – American Dream

“In 2009, on a typical sunny day in downtown Los Angeles, Gridlok was at his home studio fiercely working on his next album. Meanwhile a few floors above, a young woman was standing on the edge of his roof staring through the Los Angeles skyline contemplating about how her American Dream died long ago. While deeply focused on his task at hand, Gridlok was suddenly distracted by a loud scream, and then a bang, and then silence…”

“”American Dream” is inspired by this true event and pays homage to those who have lost their dreams. May we never lose ours.””

“American Dream” is the latest to come our way from L.A. producer Gridlok after having a successful last year with releases on Playaz, Hospital, his own label Project 51, Non-Vogue, and more. “American Dream” paints the picture of a grim reality set in modern day that was inspired by the tragic event explained above.

“American Dream” opens with the sound of warped guitar strings, raindrops, scattering drums, and acid-like synths creating an eerie and cold atmosphere. “American Dream” makes you uncomfortable (as it should) with the continuation of those warped synths that came from the most twisted of minds, and a thought provoking piano riff that builds on an atmosphere full of depth and emotion. When the bassline drops, it punches you with the pain felt by those that suffer from emotional, physical, and financial struggle and follows up with a jabbing snare while the echoing piano riff spins you around Gridlok’s dark world.

Synths continue to shimmer and warp like the sun reflecting off glass into the eye of a broken man. The drums begin to get harder and the bass more metallic as if garbage cans were being banged, and as the track reaches its breakdown (literally) you can feel things have taken a turn for the worse. The bassline goes halftime and gets grittier with more of those impeccably placed metallic drums that keep the dark vibe moving before prematurely reaching its end (much like many American Dreams.) “American Dream” successfully captures what it feels like to be lost, confused, worried, afraid, angry, alone, and hopeless without any dreams through the use of its warped, acid-like synths and a creative and intelligent use of different percussive samples.

Gridlok captured what he experienced on that day in Los Angeles in an incredible way and demonstrates why he’s never one to be overlooked within drum and bass. “American Dream” is an emotional piece of drum and bass that touches on the problems we face in today’s world which is rarely done since it’s rise through the 90’s by the likes of Goldie, Adam F, Roni Size, Krust, and more. With updated and intricate production combined with the emotive and atmospheric elements of the classic darker sound, “American Dream” is a tune in its own category. We all have our own version of an “American Dream” and that’s the beauty behind this song. It will mean something different to everyone and intends to make the listener think (which in these days can be a rarity.)

“American Dream” is forthcoming March 11th on Gridlok’s Project 51 Recordings and includes remixes from Sinistarr, GENR8, SPKTRM, Mesck, and Mayhem & Logam.

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