Cose Grind (Nova Mute)
by Joshua Brown
JB3 is New York techno innovator Joey Beltram’s latest moniker. Beltram’s 1991 track “Energy Flash” (written when he was 19) was a catalyst for the rave movement, and probably the most famous American techno single in history. Although electronic music has come a long way, to say the least, in the last half-decade, its roots haven’t been forgotten, and Joey Beltram’s work has not succumbed to irrelevance.
On Close Grind, he eschews the countless electronic sub-genres that he unwittingly helped to create, sticking with his bread-and-butter, “less is more” philosophy. Although the tunes are simple, understated, and vocal-free, they possess that certain inner city soul that characterized early American techno and has become increasingly hard to come by. Although he’ll probably never get a Buzz Clip on MTV like some of his British counterparts, they’ll eat this up on the dancefloors. The minimal grooves and repetitive beats have just the right subtle changes at the right times to make this music perfect for losing oneself in. What seem at first to be cold and unfeeling machine noises take on an undeniably human warmth once you start grooving along and zoning out to the rhythm. Close Grind includes seven new tracks along with the singles “Believer” and “Forklift.”