Australia is a big country with a lot of people, so standing out from the crowd is naturally going to be a hard task. If anyone wanted advice on how to do it, then speak to Mall Grab. This guy knows what good house music is about, with stripped back beats and easy-going melodies that sound at home in any location. If you want festival vibes or warehouse wonders, this guy has got it covered.
The title track of the EP I Just Wanna starts off powerfully, with hard hitting drum snares layered on top of tinny hi hats. The snares are faded out, giving way to the sound of trumpets and a jazzy vocal sample that states ‘I wanna be with you’, before the hi hats are brought in at a quicker tempo. A soft snare drum kicks back in to compliment the hi hats for a time, the beat of the hi hat is changed to reel the track in then boom: rapid ringing hi hats are merged with that powerful drum sound simultaneously, with a clap in the background to bring the whole drop together. It’s a simple and uncomplicated track, as Mall Grab prove you can make a proper house banger with a good beat and good instruments. Hats off to you sir.
Moving on we’ve got Feelin’ Good. The bass line is established early, with a muffled beep on top of some up and down hi hats creating a minimal vibe. The vocal sample tells us it ‘feels good around here’, and a higher pitched beep is brought in on top of the softer one, providing the stripped back bassline with a bit of vibrancy. The same hi hats come in to help keep the rhythm going, before we’re once again treated to that hard hitting minimalistic bassline to finish the song on a slightly darker warehouse tone.
Up last is Kalumbo, a song that rounds off the EP on a good high. If any of the tracks scream good vibes then it’s this one, with a soft ringing sound that spreads through the whole song. Hollow claps and gentle cymbals combine to form a calm backdrop, while light jingles work to accentuate the playful bassline. When the sun starts to drop over a festival? That’s where this track belongs.
With this EP Mall Grab demonstrate that you don’t need mad synths and crazy modulations to create a wicked tune. It’s house music at its finest, stripped back and simple, exactly the way it should be. Make sure to catch him at The Nest on the 29th of October for a Halloween special.
Words by Olly Gunns