GioGag – U Never Know – Album Sampler/Singles Review
If you’re joining us after having a listen to the latest episode of the SBS Podcast featuring GioGag’s music on it, fantastic! If you haven’t had a chance to check it out just yet, no worries – it lives on the internet – you can check out GioGag’s single “Clear Talk” on our newest show along with more of my thoughts by clicking right here. Either way, you’re fully welcome here & encouraged to read on – let’s crack into this record – I’ve got pieces from the brand-new album U Never Know to tell you about in this review today.
Y’all know me…at least you regular readers do…I have a penchant for the bizarre & beautiful oddities out there in our independent music-scene, and GioGag was immediately able to scratch that itch for me. Highly creative – from what I can tell, this project centers around the musical mind of Giorgi Gagnidze; I’d assume it’s a solo deal, but I honestly couldn’t tell ya that for sure. As I mentioned on the SBS Podcast, there’s not too much info out there on GioGag at the moment, but I’d imagine that’ll change soon enough…you musicians know how it is – it’s music first, everything else comes second & rightly so. But straight from the drop in listening to the scattered percussion and strange sounds coming & going throughout “Crashed Day,” it’s fair to say GioGag had my attention. Not only was it all anti-typical and downright weird at times, but “Crashed Day” kept displaying different innovative, imaginative, and creative moments that were superbly jazzy along the way as well. No lie – it’s a little like jazz or anything you’d categorize as experimental to a degree in the sense that some things work out great, some things not so much – but the flashes of brilliance throughout this experience certainly made it all worthwhile, gave a fantastic first impression, and definitely caught my attention & interest. In terms of an opening track on a record – what more could ya want? For better or for worse, “Crashed Day” has the kind of uniqueness that instantly gets noticed by anyone listening, stays wholly unpredictable, and no problem diving headlong down the rabbit-hole in search of something new – and yep, I dig that. Do I think it’s for everyone out there? No…but to be fair, music rarely is in any form. Is this more of a niche pocket of what’s out there in the Electro realm? Absolutely. Experimentalism & expressionism is what you’ll find are the dominant traits of a track like “Crashed Day” – there are many people out there that dig on creative freedom & artistic vibes like this…if anything, what GioGag creates is more akin to IDM music than perhaps EDM in that regard. Music like this makes your brain dance…the defining aspect of real IDM. Is it gonna make sense to every set of ears out there listening? Heck no! But that usually means it’s definitely for me – “Crashed Day” lets the moment take hold & works its own unique magic.
Shifting into a darker vibe on “Déjà vu” – you can hear a more tangible idea present in the atmosphere & melody at work as this cut begins, and GioGag creates genuine intensity in the air, even within the subtle intro as it starts. When the beat kicks in, it makes an instant impact and infuses this vibe with the energy it needed to reach the next level…and for a good majority of this cut, “Déjà vu” will go on to rock in this gear from there on. He’s got one drum sound that’s probably a bit too noticeably above the rest of the mix in a bit of a jarring way…occurs around the 2:18 & 3:05 mark & many other spots…and I think it’s right around here where I’d argue that this being the debut record from GioGag, you hear a bit of that newness here in terms of self-editing. Because in my opinion, everything else in this song works perfectly – it’s just that one extra drum that hampers the experience…and given that it shows up so many times, that could potentially be an issue for a few listeners out there in terms of being able to enjoy this cut as much as they should, or whether it’s really reached its max potential in its accessibility. Of course, we’d also need to know if accessibility is even part of the goal, which it rarely is in the realms of art & expressionistic music…but in any event, there’s a solid idea at the core of “Déjà vu” that works really strongly, transitions perfectly, and sounds spectacular for the most part. GioGag might have added one ingredient too many into the mix here when it comes to that extra drum beat along the way, and a lot of the times that just comes down to standing back from the material as objectively as you can as an artist to ask yourself whether or not what you’ve added into that next layer benefits the song overall. Because I can tell ya, every time that drum beat shows up at random, it’s all I hear; and if that’s the intention, fantastic, mission accomplished – if it’s not…well…I’ve given ya plenty to consider I guess. Potentially bringing that one sound down a bit in the mix, or tossing it altogether, might have been the answer here…again, to me, it’s the only awkward piece of “Déjà vu” – the rest I thought came out great.
Listening to “Paint With No Colors” is a serious trip, that much I can certainly confirm. This is where things started to change a bit more in GioGag’s favor here…don’t get me wrong, it’s still plenty bizarre – but…this track really found some outright amazing gears, melodies, digital rhythms & grooves that were major highlights from the set on U Never Know. It is a LOT for the average everyday listener to take in – I have no problem acknowledging that, and I’m sure that GioGag is already well aware of this fact…but at the end of day, I think there’s serious adventurism at work here, and you can hear that in a vibrant & lively cut like “Paint With No Colors” – there’s damn near nothing BUT uniqueness radiating from every pore of your speakers. Always one of my favorites whenever it came on in spinning my way through this record…I just think you can’t help but immediately give a track like this your attention – LISTEN to how it starts! It’s honestly enough to kinda blow your mind really…and even as a fan of the strange & bizarre myself, I had a hard time keeping up to it at first…and that ended up being the real beauty to be found in this energetic & amped-up digital vibe GioGag’s got goin’ on here – you truly couldn’t create this high degree of successful layering & colorful collage-based sound without having some serious ideas in your head and the ability to coax them out into music somehow. Essentially, it’s a cut like “Paint With No Colors” that is more than likely to convince a bunch of you out there that, even though Giorgi might only have about a year & a half under his belt as a producer, he’s got plenty to bring to the music-scene if he’s capable of a track as ambitious as this one is. It’s INTENSE – I ain’t gonna lie to ya folks – but like, c’mon now…tell me you don’t wanna lay on the gas on the highway at night and cruise to this song! “Paint With No Colors” will take you on a verifiable ride unlike many you’ve ever been on – I totally dig it – it’s the kind of cut that will have you seriously wondering about the fact that GioGag might just be a genius that’s a step ahead of the rest, just waiting for us all to catch up.
“Rattata” is an odd one…I never really figured out exactly how I felt about this cut overall. On the one hand, there are so many significant flashes of brilliance to be found along the way here…the depth in the drum beat is freakin’ addictive as it gets, and there’s a ton of creativity on display, which at this point already, we’ve pretty much become accustomed to in listening to GioGag. I dig that you get a more noticeable like…DJ-decks type vibe goin’ on here…some of these scratch-like sounds and quick digital edits are all-out spectacular to listen to. I think it was the electro-horn-synth sound that had me questioning whether or not that might have been the one ingredient too many, or maybe a bit too bright in its demeanor compared to the lean & mean groove goin’ on at the core of “Rattata” – but I ultimately wasn’t really opposed to it either. This is more aggressive & exploratory than something I normally listen to on the regular like Lemon Jelly, but I’d tell ya the same about many of their tunes as well as they brightened things up a bit too much for my own personal taste at times, but by that same token, often introduced a fun & playful party-atmosphere as a result, which is kinda what you get from GioGag on “Rattata” from my perspective. In any event, it’s much more of a fragment of this song than say the drum part on “Déjà vu” was earlier on…I’m more than happy to take what I can get here & play along…”Rattata” brings out the multi-faceted musical persona of GioGag and its diverse, Electro style.
Perfect! “Saxo” is the kind of cut that completely helps support the point I was making earlier on about self-editing & sound-selection & whatnot. You’ll find similar drums in the mix as that one part I noted & harped on earlier during “Déjà vu” – but on “Saxo,” you’ll find that sound is more than welcome and suits this song. You see folks? I’m an impartial judge…just an objective set of ears out here…I’m nothing but fair, I swear – and when thing fit right into place, suit the song, and make sense, I’m right there in your corner, even in the wildest of situations. It is perhaps fair to say that “Saxo” might be the track that sticks closest to the script by comparison to the unbridled creativity in so many of these tracks surrounding it…but I think a lot of listeners out there will seriously dig just how many things are going right for GioGag here. Listen to the depth between the layers! Listen to the digital groove keepin’ it all fresh & lively for ya! Listen to the gift this dude genuinely has for production! Truly – just like I mentioned on the last episode of the SBS Podcast, for only a year & a half into his musical adventures, the natural skillset on display is already astounding. Not only does it speak volumes on behalf of what GioGag is creating and the organic digital creativity in this project – but it also goes to show ya that, once again, the independent scene is easily able to produce music with clarity & quality that can rival anything you’d hear in the mainstream. While it’s a much more subtle, chilled, and somewhat tribal vibe goin’ on here in comparison to say, a track like “Paint With No Colors” earlier on – I think the effect on us is equally as mesmerizing & fascinating to listen to…these cuts confirm there’s something really different, unique, special & quite potentially extraordinary brewing within the digitalized soul of GioGag.
“Sea Is Missing” is another extremely strong tune on U Never Know. I love, love, love the way that GioGag has worked in the authentic ambient waves within this cut, and the sparkling, psychedelic opening creates a feeling like we’re being whisked away to somewhere else entirely for this particular audio voyage. While the beginning suggest you might be in for a pretty wild ride here, GioGag sticks closer to the classic roots of D&B here, keeping the ingredients fairly minimal, but highly effective. The contrasting layers of depth here were excellent to listen to…it’s truly impressive how GioGag is able to rock in different ways at the very same time…quite often you’ll find two different main ideas working in tandem, intersecting at various points, and coming & going…but everything here seems to fit really well. Of all the cuts I’ve mentioned in this review so far, “Sea Is Missing” brings some of the highest degrees of accessible sound that the masses out there can latch onto; it’s like they say, sometimes ‘less is more’ – this is a solid example of that in full effect. The ingredients that GioGag are using, and the sound selection here makes a huge difference to the amount of hook & pull it has…lots of texture in a track like this, lots of dynamics happening in the background as “Sea Is Missing” shifts, transitions, and morphs its mysterious sound along the way. You can feel the added eeriness creep on ya here…and I dig that too.
As I was tellin’ ya at the beginning of this review, “Clear Talk” is the track I ended up spinning on the most recent episode of the SBS Podcast – make sure to check that out by clicking here and you’ll hear a few more of my thoughts about GioGag before we play it. I was mighty tempted to play “Paint With No Colors” y’all…if I thought you could all handle it’s awesomeness, I just might have done it…maybe I still will in the future to come. More than stoked to have played “Clear Talk” though – it’s a genuinely solid cut from GioGag…great dynamics in the music bouncing from the lefts to the rights…it sparkles, it shines, it’s got killer low-end vibes underneath it all, and really inventive digital quirks happening on the surface. “Clear Talk” is also the final cut on U Never Know…which as I always like to remind ya, is a spot on a record quite often occupied by the latest song created, or a nod towards the direction of the music in the future to come. And if that’s the case, we’re in great shape – “Clear Talk” flashes some of GioGag’s most gripping & stylistic vibes, in addition to having enough of this project’s signature strangeness to keep its street-cred intact with its flexible design & radiant digital sounds beaming outta your speakers. I’m always as honest as I can be with y’all when I write these reviews up…cuts like “Clear Talk” and the rest in this review might appeal to a more narrow sliver of the Electro circuit, but there’s not a doubt in my mind that there are plenty of audiophiles just like myself, and like Giorgi, that’ll really dig on the sheer amount of creative freedom, colorful imagination, and courageous chances are being taken here. There’s a ton of art & expression at the heart of GioGag’s craft – & in my world, that’s always significant.
Listen to more music by GioGag at Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/giorgi-gagnidze-367368296
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