Welcome to the world of Grom: nothing is clear here and nothing is simple. Every state has its price. One drags oneself from place to place. It is dark. Cold. Any infantile optimism is out of place. However: love is possible. Euphoria could be founded on something. It just needs the right foundations. Namely, ones that encompass the possibility of failure and allow scepticism. This music writhes in agony, looks for the place to jump. It’s a universe consisting of scattered electro fragments. Heroin funk.
Is there a place that feels like what Grom do? Perhaps: a dark, stuffy apartment in a bad part of town in Hollywood. No carpets on the scratched linoleum. A few chairs, a lonely telephone on the windowsill, full of dead insects. Unmade beds. Outside the traffic rushes by. Somewhere a blonde woman in her high-heeled shoes and flowery summer dress – like something taken from an American family magazine of the 50’s.
Grom consists of two men who perhaps wind their way out of sticky, sweaty sheets in the morning. They produce the kind of music that this time of day deserves. Music for the time after your bladder has burst. Grom aestheticise the doubt, despondency, passion, a revolt. The band says: we play love songs without light. That’s another way of putting it. Yet Grom also play dance music. Their point of reference is always the club. This slightly suspicious place of aimless jazz stagings is still embraced by Grom as the place where life gets a meaning. For well over ten years, Florian Horwath and Michael Kuhn have worked as DJ’s, club organisers, journalists and label bosses: Florian Horwath worked for the Austrian youth radio station “FM4” for six years and just as long as the organiser of the Viennese club “Softmashine”. Michael Kuhn has been spinning disks as “Michelle Grinser” at Munich’s “Ultraschall” for eight years, before that he released records on Disko B as “Dakar & Grinser”, and runs the mini-label “Fortina”. These gentlemen have a history.
Grom want to regain that “this-track-comprises-everything-that-is-important-to-me” feeling when dancing. In order to do so they pace out the borders of the dance music genre without entering no man’s land. Grom never behave unambiguously: on the track “Love/Rocket”, the line “My heart is a rocket” plummets into a sobering “when I try to be with you”. In “Ourfree”, Grom add an unexpected “This is just another way for you to survive for a while” to the happy bouncy beats. In their songs, the fragments are linked together until the interaction of intensification and obliteration builds a pleasant bridge. Their music remains a track, but aspires storytelling.
Grom avoid straight lines. They prefer light dissonance, a little intervention, avoiding surety. This ambivalence also leaves its mark on the CD title “Sadness Sells”. Here anti-theses are stirred up, set against each other, and watched with sparkling children’s eyes to see what will be left at the end. Grom are still iconoclasts. They wear martial catsuits and take into account the provocation beyond the intentional statement. They don’t even bother to try to control what they can’t control: what their audience associates with it all.
The word “Grom” is therefore not meant to have a meaning, so that it can retain its flexibility. But there’s probably not a single three-consonant-one-vowel word in the world that hasn’t been used. Anyway, that’s probably not so important for Grom anyway.