"Formless" (Album, 2003) !DSO Recommended!
Track titles like Pallid, Distance and Displacement hint at one side of the endless pleasures to be drawn from Formless, namely the ambient side that possibly gives rise to the choice of album title. Though much of Gridlock's fourth album is fluid, perhaps evolutionary in the way tracks develop, 'Formless' as a description for the elegant, soaring beauty to be found herein does a disservice to the extraordinary compositional talent that American's Mike Wells and Mike Cadoo have in abundance.
Edgy yet warm, lush, and faintly eastern sounding at times, this blends elements of electronica, downtempo, IDM and noise. The results could be an alternative soundtrack to Steven Soderberg's thoughtful take on Stanislaw Lem's Solaris or the score to a video installation piece showing a remote, windswept coastline where the water laps at a gently sloping shoreline under an oppressive grey sky. Incredibly, Formless combines glitched rhythmic noise with the ecclesiastical serenity of medieval organs echoing around vast stone cathedrals. The results are astonishing. (Sadly, Wells and Cadoo disolved Gridlock two years after this, their final album.) 9/10
Rob Dyer (February 2010)