There’s much ado about the fact someone had the vision (gall, guts, balls, insanity… take your pick) to actually incorporate the likes of a harp (no, that’s not a typo) into any form of electro/dance music. But that’s what Pat Grossi did and his world seems to be a better place because of it.
He’s an LA local, rides under the moniker Active Child and, for better or worse, he’s now a fascination in the realm of one-man, laptop-made music grooving the minds of many. “For better or worse” because he’s “that guy” who has all of the six-song EP Curtis Laneunder his belt (granted a pretty damned good six-song EP) who now has to back that thing up in the live. Especially now that he has a month-long, Monday night residency in August at The Echo in Los Angeles to contend with. No pressure, man, and he does have a full length CD, You Are All I See, due for release later this month.
There are varying degrees, shapes, and colors of this thing called electronica: Less bombastic than a Big Black Delta, the tuneage of Active Child is bright to the point of incandescent while still carrying a sense of grandeur. Think of him as an alt to the healthy new wave of indie synth; he’s like James Blake but with less gravitas. Active Child occupies the dreamier pop corner with washes of haze affected by that damned harp. A sense of bliss, sometimes the urge to dance, but at all times a sense of atmospheric charm is present.
Grossi’s vocals are as much an instrument in the production as a guitar, especially when layered upon itself. His tenor his decent but “Weight of the World” gives too many shades of post-punk gloom. The money is in his precious choir-boy falsetto on fine display in “When Your Love Is Safe” and “Playing House”, both of which are quite the head-bobbers and swoonfests (read: sexy-time).