At times like these, new music is a saviour. It gives us something to do and be immersed in, allowing us to momentarily forget and escape from what is going on around the world. Mall Grab’s new album, titled WORSHIP FRIENDSHIP (COMPILATION), has certainly been keeping me positive and entertained since its release.
(Real Name) Jordan Alexander hasn’t wavered from his distinctive heavy sound in this tape, utilising fast-pace kick drums and minimal lyrics. The bassline's he uses are just as catchy as any previous album – he clearly knows what works and what his audience love. The first track, SLOW MOTION, has an underground vibe. It is a slower cut from the project, but Alexander brings in some dirty bass towards the end. SOMETHING's melody echoes that of Sunflower's from his previous release, however the tune has a more chilled feel in comparison, making it easy background listening.
A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME shows us how Mall Grab has been influenced by the sounds of other DJs, namely Dennis Sulta’s Matthew Keeps Me Pirrie; both tracks have similar sounding melodies and pace of beats. DIRTY and FUCK YOU remind us of Alexander’s love for deep, heavy tech, which is more suited to the raves he plays than home listening. RELEASE YOUR BODY – RECOGNIZABLE MIX samples a well-known loop used in hip-hop, recognisable to most, hence the track title. Alongside this, the piano riff takes us back to the 90s rave scene and its music style: a classic sound often revisited in current techno and dance music.
The album's stand-out track, for me, is BELIEVE – FESTIVAL MIX. It compiles Alexander’s signature drum loop with short words over the top, which constructs the perfect pace for moving to. The feel-good piano riffs and drop build gives it a summer rave feel: altogether an uplifting track.
Seeing Mall Grab play at The Mill (Birmingham), in February of this year, and experiencing first-hand his love for music has made me want to see him exhibit WORSHIP FRIENDSHIP live even more. His set in Brum blew me away and I can safely say it was one of the best raves I’ve been to so far, helped of course by the Mill's brilliance as a venue. I was quite shocked at first to see that WORSHIP FRIENDSHIP had been released on account of the amount of new music we have already seen from the man in 2020 alone. His Sunflower and Don’t Keep the Fire Burning EPs, as well as a collaborative project with Turnstile, appeared more than enough. Clearly his ideas for new music are flowing well and don’t show signs of stopping - perhaps he knows that everyone is in need of an uplift.
All in all, the album is as good as I always expect Mall Grab’s music to be. He hasn’t lost his original sound, but always finds ways to add new layers and make something a bit different. With any luck, festivals this summer will be playing his sounds through their speakers.
Written by Millie Ward