Grum - "Everytime (Ejeca Sunset Mix)" [Exclusive Premiere]

By Jessica Gentile

When Graeme Shepend, better known by his stage name Grum released his first  full length album, Heartbeats,  blogs were running the electronic music world and the term “EDM” didn’t even exist. No one knew who Skrillex was and you would have never seen a dance music DJ on the cover of Vibe Magazine or Spin. Well times have definitely changed and so has Grum's style. You can hear these changes in his second studio album Human Touch.

The Album's lead single “Everytime” is out today and has already been played on Annie Mac’s show on BBC Radio 1, exposing his new melancholy approach and his creative whereabouts over the past 3 years. If you are expecting the old Grum and the disco sound that you are used to just keep in mind this man has been listening to a lot of Orbital. We spoke with him after listening to the Ejeca Sunset remix of his new single and here is what he had to say.

THUMP:It's nice to see you back with a new single and forthcoming album. How will Human Touch sound compared Heartbeats?
Grum:Thanks!  Yes, it's great to be back again (although you could say I never really went away).  In some ways Human Touch is quite different to Heartbeats but I think it still sounds like 'me'.  There is much more of a contemporary feel to the production.  I really wanted to create something that people would feel was their own and of it's time, rather than using so much nostalgia as before.  I feel like I want to prove you can still make big club records that don't sound like plastic, but also work as a cohesive piece of music. People have been shying away from this - there's this massive divide between the underground and commercial dance music.  It's more of a risk but a much more exciting approach.  Of course, there are still a couple of things on there which fans of the first album will love.

So much has changed in electronic music in the past three years since your debut. As an artist that was discovered through the blog circuit years ago how have things been different for you this time around?
It has changed quite a lot.  For a start, quite a few of the blogs I liked have disappeared.  The bigger ones have become much more organized as portal sites almost.  I think in some ways the blogs' role in breaking new music has lessened somewhat, as many tend to post all styles/the same big tunes, whereas before I would say there used to be a more typical "blog sound" in the types of music involved.  I think that part of it made it exciting (as in, it was a specialized thing).  It feels like now the role of tastemaker has gone back to the independent labels again - we are going to start putting out other music I like on Heartbeats the label.

What do you think of the explosion that EDM has become since 2010?
I think to answer that you have to define what EDM means - and to me it means this heavily marketed plastic sounding aggressive stuff (do I sound old saying that?).  There is a clear divide between it and what has always been called 'dance music'.  I think it's good that finally this music is having its time in America, but I feel like that formula is going to burn out quickly.  It will be really exciting to see what comes next when the audience becomes more open to developments of that sound. 

You used to have a small set up of mostly using your laptop, logic, and plug ins. Is your set up any different now? Do you use any hardware or different programs or has it stayed the same?
Well, I have actually gone in a complete circle and come back to the simple laptop setup!  I ended up getting loads of hardware synths, outboard, FX, etc.  But the problem was my workflow was so suited to working in the old way that I couldn't adapt to this slower way of working.  I feel much happier with the simple setup, almost like the laptop is my instrument.  I think in future I'd like to get a big old desk for mixing down, but that's about it.

How did you come up with the name Grum?
Well, my name's Graeme, and people seemed to like calling me Grum.  Or G.  But I don't think G is distinctive enough.

What pop music have you been listening to?
To be honest I have mostly been avoiding pop music recently.  The charts were invaded by everyone *trying* to do dance music and most of it was embarrassing.  My tastes are firmly in the more underground electronic realm at the moment.

What dance music have you been listening to?
There is so much great stuff going on at the moment.  I think Locked Groove is a real talent and someone to watch out for.  Sasha's reinvention has been great with the new Involv3r album.  Alex Metric's recent EP's have been excellent.  Have been loving Scuba as well...and Ejeca...  I just discovered Marcus Marr - The Music, which sounds like an instant classic.  In terms of album musical influences I was listening to a lot of Orbital, Underworld, Gui Boratto, Way Out West, Fred Falke/Braxe, old R&S stuff, Boys Own records.

What was the last record (or mp3) that you bought?
Locked Groove - Heritage on Hotflush.  Lovely EP.

If you could do the soundtrack to a movie what would it be like and which actors would star in it?
I think it would have to be some kind of journey or voyage.  Maybe we could develop the road trip movie and take it from the centre of the earth to the sun - I guess it would be more of an arty film, combining the visuals with the music to make something cool.  I love Tom Hanks, he has to star!