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The Grid – Face The Sun (90s – 73)

July 31, 2013

In the wake of Swamp Thing being played everywhere – and I loved it – the school librarian lent me the Grid’s previous album 4,5,6. Perhaps 70 percent a great album, the best tracks are dripping with guest artists: Andy Mackay from Roxy Music, Dieter Meier from Yello, and on this, the album’s opener, the seemingly ubiquitous Robert Fripp and Sun Ra, of all people.

At the time, the school librarian had introduced me to Fripp, but Sun Ra wasn’t a name I would take notice of until Yo La Tengo covered him years later. I’m not sure if his spoken word contribution here is a special recording or a sample from something else (I suspect the former), but it was a wonderful match for the open vista of sound and bouncing bass to create a warm summer vibe. For his part, Fripp again shows how much he was a great fit for 90s beats.

The Grid were never part of the electronic underground – Dave Ball’s background in Soft Cell saw to that, but they did give a glimpse of what it was all about to a wider audience. And with tracks like this they sparked an interest in electronica which would become fully evolved a couple of years later.

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