Songs For Endless Cities: Volume 1
New !K7-affiliated label Cool in the Pool opens its account with a state of the art compilation from 24 year old Londoner Brackles. In the last six months, the Blunted Robots co-owner and FWD/Rinse FM regular has been grappling with the ”future garage” tag that’s been pushed his way, and he’s not too keen. ”Too limiting” he says. He can live with the ”post dubstep” moniker, but his first commercially available mix album gives us a better snapshot of where this buzzing, vibrant scene is going than any scene name could hope to do.
Anyone with a passing interest in new electronic music may have noticed a generation shift over the last few years, and Brackles comes from that new wave of producers, promoters, DJs, hustlers and bustlers who have little to do with the 40+ year old Ibiza veterans still punting out big tunes for ever diminishing creative returns. They’re part of the ”hardcore continuum,” but not shackled with it, they play ”post dubstep” but aren’t defined by it, and whilst the likes of Brackles and his contemporaries work dancefloors with the kind of energy only a new, young generation of DJs can, their musical scope and breadth reaches well beyond club confines. ”Hearing UK funky was really refreshing after listening to dubstep for a few years. I still love dubstep but funky contains a lot of elements that I’d been missing since UK garage died. It opened my eyes to all kinds of house music and I now try and fit a lot of different bits from house, funky and dubstep into my sets”
Songs for Endless Cities aims to capture a slice of Brackles after hours and out of hours, with the afterglow still burning, maybe the rhythms still bumping, but with the freedom to roam around a bit, enjoying and exploring sound without always having to turn back to the dancefloor.
From the langorous, ethereal machine funk of opener Flying Lotus’ ”My Chippy,” and the cosmic-jazz tinged 303 energy of Floating Points’ ”Peoples Potential,” the classy, stripped back future-soul of Roska’s ”I Need Love” and the UR-style strains of Dorian Concept’s ”Trilingual Dance Sexperience,” to Deadboy’s ”If You Want Me,” a lethal combination of broken, funky rhythms, futuristic machine drones, disembodied soul diva looped up into hypno oblivion, topped off with an M1 organ riff straight out of the Frog and Nightgown in ’96, Songs‚Ä¶ never stays in one musical place, but is a very much a coherent ”whole”.
Mixed in amongst the well known names are several with which listeners might not be so familiar. That’s likely to change, according to Brackles. ”The newer artists I’ve picked I think will go on to be sitting in the same bracket as those big artists at some point. Funkineven already has some great releases and I reckon the Breach tune on the mix is gonna be one of the biggest of 2010.”
The mix also contains a brand new and exclusive Brackles track, ”Blo,” which represents something of a different sound for the producer. ”I’m not moving towards just doing a ”deep” sound, I just wanted to try something different from what I usually do. I enjoy challenging myself with different styles and tempos. I think I’ve just opened my eyes a bit to what is going on elsewhere and am now just trying to rep good music. In terms of production I think you can still hear a lot of the dubstep influence in what I make.”
It’s a mix for the mind and the soul as much as the body, and it comes from a legion of musical influences, not all of them conscious ones. It was only when Mike ‘Mu’ Paradinas commented on the Detroit influence he heard in Brackles’ sound that the young Londoner went off to explore and enjoy the Motor City mothership, and now it’s there, along with the garage, the dubstep, the house, the funky and the rest of it, all channelling into Brackles’ contribution to the continuum, all helping shape his Songs for Endless Cities.