LPs Roundup: Bonobo, Brandt Brauer Frick, Lusine
Published on April 25th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
Brandt Brauer Frick – Miami
The Berliners’ latest features two tracks with guest vocals from flavour of the month Jamie Lidell, but it’s their unique way of stitching baroque/classical elements into techno glitchery that continues to astound. Ten-minute opener “Miami Theme” sounds like anything but its titular city, its ominously off-kilter crooning registering more like a drunk Portishead, while elsewhere BBF generally sound like BBF: that is, an enthralling symphony of pianos coming to life and popping their own inner mechanics with sheer malevolence.
“Plastic Like Your Mother” is one of the song titles of the year, to boot, and its creeping, alien disco-funk ain’t half bad either. These guys have really got something; it would be interesting to see how their ornate, oaky sounds would intertwine with the 3D technicolour of their compatriots Mouse on Mars. Far be it from us to suggest collaborations, but that could be one intriguing splice.
Rocksucker says: Three and a Half Quails out of Five!
Bonobo – The North Borders
Simon Green’s fifth album as Bonobo shows that he still knows how to cultivate shimmering, cross-sensory mixes within his downtempo grooves, but for all its commendable features The North Borders never really feels in danger of surprising. Even the Erykah Badu guest vocal supplements this air of the identikit – probably because she’s popping up everywhere at the moment – and no amount of loping, glitchy beats, crinkly percussion or buzzing synth bass can save this collection from sagging into territory so (relatively) safe that you could wear it as a seat belt.
“Emkay” fares well, slipping a sleek ’90s garage beat under a ravey vocal sample and dousing it all in agreeably gloopy electronics before introducing luxurious snatches of orchestra, while “Know You” picks up a compellingly hallucinatory disco shuffle. “Antenna” is our pick of the bunch, disorienting yet funky and packing a welcome distraction in the form of its flute arrangements, but overall this is tantamount to going through the ‘comedown’ motions.
Rocksucker says: Two and a Half Quails out of Five!
Lusine- The Waiting Room
Texas native, Seattle resident Jeff McIlwain remains adept at addling the senses without quite ever breaking through to the realms of the truly spectacular. This is largely forgivable in the face of the warm, glowing electronics and hypnotically inverted strut of “Panoramic”, the gleefully staggering drunken synth orchestra of “Without a Plan” or the rather splendid cover of Electronic’s “Get the Message”…but it’s hard to avoid the curiosity as to how transportative he could sound with a less concise, more freewheeling approach.
Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!