Griots is Gerald Cleaver's second electronic album, jointly released by 577 Records sub label Positive Elevation and Meakusma. It sees Cleaver further exploring the depths of electronic music offered by his hometown Detroit, combining those influences with his personal musical background. A jazz drummer. originally from Detroit, Cleaver has for years been one of the leading drummers and composers in New York's jazz scene. Griots is all about spontaneity, dealing with a wide range of influences and ideas, blending them in an at times gentle, at times ferocious flurry of rowdy synthesis, FM tones and muted drum machines.
The album is a challenging listen that offers comfort as well as contorted acceptance. It defines the nature of inspiration as circular. Griots also features Cuban jazz pianist and composer David Virelles and American composer and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire. Highly original and striking a unique and informed tone, Griots loops psychedelic sounds and rhythmic ideas, adding a version-like feel to it's IDM and club music influences. Its templates are open-ended and shed light on what is going on around us.