If there is a place where minimalist patterning ends and melody begins, it is embodied by two tracks on the album Unknown Space by Gridline, a new addition from Serbia to the great Bump Foot netlabel. The two tracks are titled “Forms 1” (MP3) and “Forms 2” (MP3), and as their titles suggest, they are experiments in form. In this case, form means beading pulses that come to constitute layers of small, globular sound objects. True to the act’s name, they suggest music as pattern, dots on a grid that pulse in (imagined) colors according to some internal logic that is never entirely made clear.
The rest of the album by Gridline (aka Predrag Grujic) makes it clear the extent to which these are, in fact, experiments. All the other tracks are much more recognizable as synthesized, pop-derived songs. It’s the refinement, simplicity, and resoluteness of the two “Forms” tracks that distinguishes them.