Dusted Reviews

Bracken - We Know About the Need

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: Bracken

Album: We Know About the Need

Label: Anticon

Review date: Apr. 9, 2007

Bracken is the new solo project of Hood member Chris Adams. In the late 1990s, the small clutch of records Adams released as Downpour engaged with the DNA of drum’n’bass while leaving a snail’s trail of historical clues, with a track dedicated to New Zealand post-punk, proto-noise outfit Marie And The Atom. Those records felt simultaneously futuristic and reverent, and their relatively lo-fit production added charm while also breaking the clinical seal that kept so much IDM airless.

Unfortunately, Bracken suffers from that very stuffiness. Within Hood, Adams’s vacant moan was matched by pastoral melancholy, but with its bleak wash of stutters and glitches, We Know About the Need renders Adams morose. His production on this record cleaves too closely to the thin end of modern electronica, music configures on hard drives without any breathing space or color. These Bracken tracks too often feel drab and lifeless, their blood thinned by the glossy sheen of digitalia. That’s not simple Luddite thought, mind you, but rather a commentary on Adams’s relationship to computer composition: he needs to roughen up the textures and make the joints rusty again.

On occasion, We Know About the Need rises above. The jump cuts on “Many Horses” genuinely surprise, and “Back on the Calder Line” is spooked by spiralling wheezes and churchy drones. The problem could well be the influence of the Anticon crew. Now that they have finished with turning hip-hop into a dull, pre-digested paste, they’re turning their attentions to post-rock. One can only hope that a figure as talented as Adams avoids being swallowed by Anticon’s ravenous capacity for perpetual underachievement.

By Jon Dale

Read More

View all articles by Jon Dale

Find out more about Anticon

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.