Calibre’s proliferation remains at a high as we cascade into another year. With two albums, the digitisation of his Signature back catalogue and key releases such as Iron Balls and Christiansen (with dBridge) his output during 2016 was remarkable even by his standards… This year looks set to be even more amplified and it starts this Friday with Grow, the title track of his last album that was never actually on his last album.
It’s not as confusing as it sounds: the album Grow was released on Craig Richards’ label The Nothing Special. As a label focused more on the free-form, experimental fringes of techno and electronica, it gave Calibre a chance to really explore a deep, more technoid focused side to his work and present tracks he had never played publicly before.
An introspective and very personal project; some of the album’s music dates back to the early 2000s and the album itself took Calibre and Craig several years to fine tune into the stark, dark and provocative experience that landed late last year on vinyl adorned with Craig’s striking artwork.
It was clear during that process that while Grow was the perfect name for an album, the track’s sound didn’t fit the sober, heavier atmospheric tone of the LP. So they kept it for percy…. Until now.
Bright, breezy and instantly hinting at heavy summer rotation, even taking in his song-based Dominick Martin albums, this is a whole new side to the Belfast-born artist…. Wholly in-keeping with the deep rolling soulful sound he’s known for but on a 130 broken beat tip, Grow was written around 12-15 years ago (a particularly blurry period in Calibre’s life) and features layers on layers of his own vocals as he expels the demons of a toxic relationship. According to legend, he made such a noise recording his vocals is neighbour called round to see if he was okay!
Often imitated, never equalled – as Doc Scott said on this site just a few weeks ago – Grow is further proof that Calibre’s soul, spirit and energy translates perfectly into any tempo or framework. The fact that it’s well over a decade old and still sounds fresh is yet more proof.
Grow is released March 3 on The Nothing Special with tracks Lost and Strange Are The Days. Keep watching closely, too… We have it on very good authority a whole new album is about to drop on Signature before the end of March, too. 19 years deep into his game and Calibre continues to grow…