Globe, Skanna, The Joker, Stoneproof; you’d be forgiven for not knowing these names. They’re pseudonyms for one John Graham…. aka, Quivver.
If the name’s still a mystery for you; you’ve either been hiding under a rock or you’re indoctrinated by the music media. Simple as that.
A continued presence in the accolades of mix series as the peak time provider of musical moments created in both Sasha and John Digweed’s GU compilations and a residency in the legendary NY club Twilo, all coming from a man from a sleepy suburb in Nuneaton, in the central region of the UK.
Whilst many of today’s and yester-years superstar DJ’s within and outside of the progressive scene have unashamedly relied upon co-and-ghost producers, silent engineers and clandestine working relationships, Quivver, after fronting and leading some of the progressive electronic music scene’s finest moments, is actually is the real deal in dance music. In fact, he’s a producer that’s so good, there are very few who could even try and emulate him in terms of style and sound.
For the catalogers, chinstrokers and historians of the electronic music world, to adequately catch up with John Graham as a complete artist, you’d need to delve into Space Manoeuvres – OID and John’s Solo Indie Rock Album – Cold Sun. It’s clear now that alias’s and pseudonyms serve a total separation (excuse the pun) between direction, genre’s, influences and moods.
His first album for 8 years, ‘Rekonstruct’ is a collaborative effort between some of today’s staunchly underground artists, across the international spectrum of house and techno music.
Lily Pita from Indonesia (Bedrock, Bonzai),
Dan Sieg from the U.S.A (Silk Music, Mango Alley),
DNYO from Brazil (microCastle, Timeless Moment),
Rick Pier O’Neil from Mexico (Baroque, Vesta Records),
Beatamines from Germany (Somatic, Lauter Unfug),
David Keno from Switzerland (This Ain’t Bristol, Toolroom),
Khainz & Clari Ann from Switzerland (Yoshitoshi) and
Kaiser Souzai from (Ballroom, Berlin),
Ziger from Greece (Sudbeat)
& Mattia Saviola from Italy (Tronic).
So, enough of the back stories and name dropping of the valued contributors! What’s the album saying?
Well, in a nutshell, it’s not messing around.
What does it offer? Put simply, a delve into every current upfront sound, plus a splash of atmospheric and psy-infused sound design, that only an artist with decades of experience like Quivver could deliver. It skips the overly cinematic album contributions, sidesteps the liberty taking leftfield chinstroker music, discards the filler tracks and delivers massively across both the continuous and unmixed formats.
There’s a wonderful driving momentum to the whole album, that is rarely achieved in a DJ mix, let alone an album. This is not a coffee table contribution like so many stalwart progressive producers have left us with. Performed live, I can imagine the venue having blood, sweat, beers and tears dripping from the ceiling. Rather than relying on catchy riffs and cliched emotional breakdowns, this is sinister, sombre number strives to deliver to some real gravitas and menace.
This album could actually be a real game-changer, if we could all listen with our ears instead of falling for the hype of all the heavily promoted big DJ agency artists, who’s management teams have simply bought their artist’s coverage on the industry’s biggest pay to play platforms, like Mixmag.
Put simply, this album should be winning praise from all corners of the melodic house and techno scene and being hailed as one of the best albums of the last few years. But maybe it won’t. And why’s that? Because Quivver’s pockets don’t run deep enough to pay Mixmag to say that.
For nearly over nearly two decades, both friends and I have often contemplated why we haven’t seen Quivver make it to the top. One thing’s for sure, pretty much all of the scene has either relied upon Quivver’s music to brand-stamp their own sound as a DJ or to solidify the quality of their label compilations.
Let’s hope this album marks the start of Quivver getting the true recognition he deserves in this scene, once and for all.
Quivver’s ‘Rekonstruct’ is already available. Grab your copy here.