Secede
Bye Bye Gridlock Traffic


4.5
superb

Review

by Jonny Hunter CONTRIBUTOR (103 Reviews)
January 8th, 2012 | 20 replies | 3,554 views


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Life distilled in music form.

You can always tell when an artist has been making music from a very young age. They're not necessarily more technical or ambitious, instead there's often a uniquely effortless aspect to the music they make. Tracks progress fluidly, showing no drop in form or immediate transitions to put a dent in the immersion. Everything, you could say, is in its right place. Having experimented with electronic music as far back as age 8, Secede is one such artist. His debut full-length, Bye Bye Gridlock Traffic, acts as a release valve for all the pent-up expression he'd been holding onto until that point and, as a result, is one of the most vibrant and colourful albums anyone could hope for.

In addition, one could use this to argue that Bye Bye Gridlock Traffic comes off as quite childish. Not in its execution but rather in its adolescent mixture of gloomy ambiance and giddy, electronic happiness, with the evident creativity that seldom few adults possess. For instance, the title track's energetic, dynamic nature eventually succumbs to the confined, glitch-ridden atmosphere in Say I Said So. This effect is only built upon by the warmth emanating from the album, adding a distinctly human element. Considering that his childhood revolved around electronic music it's unsurprising, though in no way unremarkable, that this is the case.

While the labels of "childlike" and "human" may invoke comparisons to similarly described musically-unsure artists and groups, the sleight of hand evident in Bye Bye Gridlock Traffic puts these to rest. At multiple points in the album, Secede demonstrates his ability to drastically alter the dynamics of a track by simply changing one seemingly unimportant thing in the background. This is best shown in Depart & Arrive, where the addition of only a few well-placed drum beats per bar transforms a slow, atmospheric march into something much more insistent and progressive. This musical dexterity, with the ability to incorporate new styles and influences without detracting from a track's sense of flow, is just one of the things which makes listening to Bye Bye Gridlock Traffic so engrossing.

Another is the sheer scope of the album: soundbites from Star Treck to Back to the Future become distorted and borderline disturbing in the context of the music behind them. Greetings Twinsunian sees clean strings and woodwinds playing off against record-scratching and Big Day Out personifies the ultimate, macabre horror-movie soundtrack in it's oppressive, yet innocent, nature. The full spectrum from fast-paced, multi-layered spurts to drawn out, dark-ambient epics is on display. Somehow maintaining a collective atmosphere while exploring contrasting methods.

Bye Bye Gridlock Traffic may not match the strong direction of Secede's more recent work, but as such a pure form of artistic expression it doesn't need to. It could even be said that the album is more powerful for it. Rarely will you glimpse this level of creativity and, at the same time, one that feels so distinctly human.



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user ratings (30)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
HSThomas (5)
...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
January 8th 2012



2714 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Been listening to this a lot recently, felt like reviewing it.

Feedback?

Oathbreaker
January 8th 2012



1649 Comments


Great album. Pos'd.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
January 8th 2012



2714 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks.

WashboardSuds
January 8th 2012



4981 Comments


Outran is so good

Digging: Acid Bath - When the Kite String Pops

Gyromania
January 8th 2012



15165 Comments


Whole album is sheer brilliance, but I still much prefer the atmosphere Tryshasla creates.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
January 8th 2012



2714 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Writing this review without dedicating a paragraph to Outran was hard.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
January 8th 2012



2714 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I wouldn't say a mile, but it's definitely one of the highlights.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
January 8th 2012



30865 Comments


His best album

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

Gyromania
January 9th 2012



15165 Comments


Get Tryshasla!

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
January 9th 2012



2714 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Dev's right though, this is his best.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
January 9th 2012



2714 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Still definitely worth checking out, though.

AGuyIsWatchingYou
January 9th 2012



907 Comments


I only listened once, I thought it was pretty meh.


Might as well revisit it seeing as how I have no life and all the time in the world.

Wadlez
October 30th 2013



3781 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Perfect time of night to spin this.

ethos
October 30th 2013



1743 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

http://youtu.be/ZUjBL8eSRuc

Wadlez
October 31st 2013



3781 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Such an engrossing listen.

Kman418
January 13th 2014



9805 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

groovy

Digging: Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
January 13th 2014



18005 Comments


ya

Digging: Autechre - Draft 7.30

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
January 13th 2014



18005 Comments


ya

Kman418
January 13th 2014



9805 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

the bass on hotel gets me hard

Wadlez
January 29th 2014



3781 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So close to a 5



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