Currently enjoying “Evolver” by the Grid

1994 brought the world not one but two techno singles featuring banjos. One of these was “Cotton-Eyed Joe,” a Swedish eurodance take on an American folk song by a group called Rednex, which is still fairly popular today despite being terrible. The other was “Swamp Thing,” a prominent entry in a string of hits by a British duo called the Grid.

The Grid came together in 1998. Richard Norris was a producer, remixer and sound engineer who had recently also started writing for the NME. Dave Ball had previously enjoyed critical and chart success as a member of Soft Cell, a duo best known for their 1981 cover of “Tainted Love.” Still together today, the Grid have released five albums and ten charting singles, the most successful of which was “Swamp Thing.”

Evolver, the group’s third album, was driven largely by the success of the 1993 single, which it in turn propelled to chart success when it hit the shelves in 1994. As a whole, however, Evolver is a surprisingly fun and eclectic effort, drawing from a range of techno, rock and ambient influences. It’s very much an album recorded in the mid-nineties, but it holds up rather well, and it’s well worth a listen.

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