Dec 9, 2014

Bracken – Exist / Resist (2014)

... Karmacoma ...

As the two core members of experimental, electro-post rock outfit Hood, brothers Chris and Richard Adams led a fascinating trail of textured, beat-addled vibes that inspired uncountable producers who tried and failed to replicate Hood’s signature sound, with effusively watered-down results. Yet even in Hood’s various states of hiatus and innumerable lineup changes with only the brothers Adams being the constant, the one thing you could count on was the Adams’ occasional output of intricate, heartfelt songs.

  But his brother Chris has remained relatively outside the spotlight, until this snazzy edition-of-100 cassette popped up on BARO, a label we’ve certainly fallen head over heals for as of late. Operating here under the name Bracken, Chris Addams has issued Exist Resist, a nine-track tape of dubby, vaporous experimental pop music that updates the laptop production and skittering rhythms played up in the early-00′s. But this isn’t cashing in on nostalgia or reliving highlights of yore. Adams is in full form here, from the opening, enraptured chords of “Presence (in close focus)” to the fluorescent throb of closing track “The same picture again,” which plots a grimaced course of iced-out, paranoia. Refined production, hesitant piano chords and solemn strings urge the song through its narrative with emphatic elegance. Elsewhere, tracks like “Awake into falling light” and “No sense of dub” play out like Bibio or Broadcast remixing Underworld, with a heavy hand on the reverb and Echo controls. It’s a surprising feat of lo-fi from a legitimized, living legend.

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