This week, our random pick got us caught in the mau5trap. Julian Gray, a newly signed mau5trap artist, brings our page its first house EP. Autonomous. was not just a first for us either; it is also his first release on the big mouses’ record label. We are excited to be marking a milestone for ourselves, by also highlighting a milestone for Julian. So something like Optimus always says, “Autonomus. transform and roll house”.
Sure that may have been one our cornier intros, but it really sums up this four song EP so well. Julian Gray presents the listener with such a strong experience of his house music talent. He does so without changing drastically between each song, but using minor changes to transform to a different sound, by the final song. There is such a flow moving in between each song on the album, and it makes for such a great listening experience. House music is such a broad horizon, and we really get such a good picture of what Julian’s contribution to it is, through Autonomous.
Starting right off the bat with pace setting snare into deep house bass, “Apathy” is the birth of the album. The song is very patterned and repetitious to start. Each beat is feels so placed and planned, until a we are dropped into an emptiness. “Apathy” leads us to a void that uses melody to progress. is broken by a slowly building melodic void. The melody slowly fills with softer higher registering sounds. These sounds start to multiply and grow together with the emergence of strings, until the sounds over flow back into the same pattern from the beginning. “Apathy” is such a great “set” piece; it sets the listener in the progressive house vibe of the entire EP.
Prepped and ready to go, Autonomous. then moves into its vocal piece- “It Is What It Isn’t”. The vocals meld so well with the patterned style that Gray uses. The steady setting bass seems to echo through your chest, as the rest of the melody and vocals coast through your mind. Something that is so admirable about Julian’s house style is that you never feel overwhelmed. “It Is What It Isn’t” showcases that so strongly, because it has vocals melding with the house rhythm, but you still don’t feel anything is too much. All of it together almost keeps the music in you. His music almost feels like it is trapped in you trying to get out, which is such a different feeling from so much EDM.
The feeling continues in the EP’s title song “Autonomous”. The song is faster moving and show cases so well why Julian belongs signed to mau5trap. There is almost a trialing feeling when this beat is trying to leave your body. “Autonomous” uses the patterned house style, with rising rhythmic sounds and the words “this is not a drill”, to make you feel almost like you are trying to complete a maze. Moving fluidly through halls and past obstacles to some final prize. Even with the feeling of escaping, “Autonomous” never makes you feel panicked. That fluidity has you embracing and eating up the journey the whole time.
“Paper Planes” is what lies at the end of the maze solved in “Autonomous”. The song has this freed feeling- the moving rhythm with the lighter patterned bass has you boundless. The song just makes you want to sway and spin in circles. Letting your body just sway and be boneless as the song enters your mind, but moves through your body. It is the freeing from the trance that Autonomous. put you in, but also the reason that you want to listen again.
Such a well constructed EP that focuses so well on progressive house, Autonomous. beckons the use of a Where’s The Vibe original vocab word. So this weeks Julian Gray inspired vocab word is “jelly house”. Jelly house refers to the nature of jelly in regard to EDM. Jelly is smooth and flowing, yet holds firmer than a liquid. It distorts light and sound stronger than liquid substances, but still moves and is affected by them. You are that jelly when listening to Autonomous. . You move and sway and feel the songs so strongly, but the sound is not overwhelming you. Julian’s music gets caught in you more than other songs, and makes you move and feel but slower and smoother.
Autonomous. is a phenomenal showcase of the talent of a new artist. The sounds throughout establish an interesting trace house sound, yet are able to do so while evolving into such different songs. A phenomenally progressive EP, a trance-y vibe, and again a great debut for Julian. Thank you for the new sound, and we can’t wait to see what’s next.
Until next week.