Mall Grab’s Jordon Alexander has been developing his sound in interesting ways of late. Having found fame in the 2010s with a version of the same lo-fi house style as DJ Boring and Ross From Friends, recent years have seen Mall Grab’s music getting harder and heavier with each release. This trend continues on new EP Sunflower, Alexander’s latest record to drop via his own Looking For Trouble imprint.
Sunflower hares out of the blocks with its title track. Beginning with the sort of warehouse techno stomp one associates with Ellen Allien, ‘Sunflower’ soon moves into a distinctly 90s-indebted mode by introducing zippy synth-bass pulses, trancey synths and some wistful keyboards. It’s a vibe which is maintained on the following track ‘Hidden Worlds’ - split the difference between Danny L. Harle and the huge techno stylings of Clouds and you’re in the right ballpark.
Things get more alien still in Sunflower’s second half. ‘Switchblade’ is a genuinely unsettling broken-beat electro number, one to deploy only in the darkest basements. Meanwhile ‘Leaving Tokyo’ breaks new sonic ground for Alexander by taking the ‘Switchblade’ sound and incorporating some fluttering lead-lines with a distinct whiff of early Eskibeat about them. Sunflower’s dark, imposing rave vibe is only amplified on the two bonus versions at the EP’s end.
Mall Grab continues to move away from house and towards harder dance styles on new EP Sunflower.