On first listen, Grenier and Archie Pelago seem an odd pairing, the former cultivating a strong following in the ambiguous West Coast “bass” scene under both his Grenier nom de guerre and his DJG alter ego, while the latter’s live instrument-based house output have endeared them to the NYC faithful. That being said, Grenier has released his fair share of chunky house and Archie Pelago show an unrestrained willingness to collaborate and experiment so maybe that reactionary observation isn’t so accurate after all. In May, UK label Melodic will release Grenier meets Archie Pelago, a 12 track effort that promises to usher in Summer with a light-hearted, meticulously textured take on the four-on-the-floor blueprint we all know and love. The album was conceived on a “hazy, early spring afternoon in the basement of an art gallery in San Francisco”, but that doesn’t mean it’s full of dense, elegiac house that is only fit for the most adventurous dance floors. Instead, Grenier meets Archie Pelago is an immediately accessible, gratifying affair, featuring alluring strings, twangy bass and a cohesive Summer sun thread that rejects the pastiche that come of live instrumentation in dance music.
“Swoon” is the first single from the album and epitomizes everything noted above, from the tightly wound rhythmic structure to the melancholic string work. On a simple level, the song is elegant and beatific, offering up the perfect soundtrack for a day party, but that’s not all it offers. In its composition and instrumental arrangement, “Swoon” conveys a range emotional concepts that belie the melancholy strings that makes up the brunt of its melody. There are hints of triumphalism in the horns and an obstinate digital futurism in the synthetic bleeps. Overall, the song’s whole is far more valuable than its constituent parts. The album won’t be released until May 19, but you can stream “Swoon” now and pre-order the full LP here.