Andre Bratten (NO)

André Bratten explores the same depopulated yet emotive spans of synths, drums, and bass as his Norwegian post-disco peers. But he also distinguishes himself with a sound you might peg as Teutonic before Scandinavian. While the likes of Prins Thomas and diskJokke range over earth and space, none cover precisely the furrowed, cratered landscape Bratten claims. Featuring dark hues and rough crags, it inspires visions of low, ore-spined mountains. In an Oslo-producer family portrait, you'd imagine Bratten as the lurking one, in the black ribbed turtleneck, looking on severely as porn-mustached Todd Terje makes bunny ears behind Lindstrøm's bucket cap. Bratten's music has a monstrous mechanical movement, but his tuned toms and chattering patterns are offset with live-feeling accents that rattle in the grid, giving the sense of someone striking a head in real space. The music feels wonderfully self-generative, as if willing itself into being. With its controlled speaker fry and choked-out melody, album highlight "Yours Sincerely, Andre Bratten" ingeniously un-crumbles together. Bratten's sounds don't just lurch in; they take shape before our ears. You can picture him slowly turning knobs to tame each wild tone into the groove, which is never far away, even when it decays into textured abstractions that keep alertly pushing it forward.
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