It really was too bad that one of our favourite bands, queer art and music collective JD Samson and MEN didn’t go beyond their 2013 sophomore album “Labor” as we felt we were only getting started with them. Since MEN’s disappearance on the music landscape, there has been a definite void which I have felt has needed to be filled. So, recently I was more than happy to be introduced to an up-and-coming femme fronted, queer synth outfit based out of Chicago IL. Who in some ways, mostly music stylistically, slip into similar shoes. Time to meet, Rita Lukea and Jonathon Freund, the duo Pixel Grip. Noted favourably as contributors among word-of-mouth underground electro dance parties in Chicago. They are preparing to release their debut album “Heavy Handed” (Out April 12, 2019, via Feel Trip Records) and there are a few singles to enjoy first. I am thrilled to have been asked to share the latest Pixel Grip release “Diamonds” on EQ Music Blog today.
Acting as the follow-up single to “Plastic Enemies” (released in January) “Diamonds” really does have the sounds of a sweaty underground night-club drenched all over it. The big beats which load up the bass line are rhythmically charged and sweltering hot and feels as though they have totally sprung up out of the late 1980s. I am probably liking this as much as I am doing because this was the time in my life when I was becoming aware such music existed. That Frankie Goes To Hollywood existed. That Lil Louis “French Kiss” existed, this was the music which was around when I was coming of age. If Pixel Grip’s “Diamonds” had of been around during this time I know I would have worn the vinyl out on it. Stylistically it is incredibly slinky (props to Jonathon for that.) Rita has such an alluring voice. She sings like, part ethereal princess, part fembot. It’s a crazy hot vocal combination. My ears are more than happy to be drowning in it.
Oh damn’s I just found out Pixel Grip showcased at SXSW last year. BOO, it doesn’t look like they are making a return visit this year, because the band are shortly to go out on tour with Computer Magic. But, we will be making the return trip to SXSW, on a quest to make some new electronic pop discoveries of our own. Having heard the brilliance of “Diamonds” it really is too bad we missed out on seeing the band, last time around. To soften the blow, I have a little something sparkly extra to share, the stripped back house styled “Cameron Traxxx” remix of the track.
Pixel Grip Tour Dates Supporting Computer Magic:
4/17/2019 Toronto, ON
4/18/2019 Detroit, MI
4/19/2019 Chicago, IL
4/20/2019 Minneapolis, MN