mon 22/07/2024

CD: Craig Bratley - Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Craig Bratley - Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride

CD: Craig Bratley - Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride

Can the producer's vaulting ambition match the bar of expectation for his debut album?

Craig Bratley: 'BTT,TTR – as well as being an unpronounceable acronym – is a career-spanning collection'

Craig Bratley has been impressing for a good while now behind the desk and the decks alike. A handful of must-have 12”s and DJ sets at nights including the stellar A Love from Outer Space and the ever-reliable Música Noche have ensured that this is an album for which the bar of expectation has been set very high.

“Transmission One” starts things off and the synth sounds glow with the warmth of a comforting, crackling fire. It manages to be both futuristic and enjoyably dusty at the same time – like finding an old Eagle annual on a visit to your mum’s. Then comes “Dance with a Mannequin”, which includes an unlikely rapper/computer-voice duet – it may be a one-note melody, but the harmony of man and machine is perfect.

The analogue refrains are layered to perfection, sequenced with thought and effortless economy

“Hyper Velocity” and “Computer Control”, like pretty much everything here, boast irresistible, neck-snapping grooves, on top of which the analogue refrains are layered to perfection, sequenced with thought and effortless economy. Meanwhile, “Beat on the Drum” is similarly meaty, beaty, big and bouncy, but coloured in darker shades by the portentous vocal and sparse arrangement.

BTT,TTR – as well as being an unpronounceable acronym – is a career-spanning collection, which means that 2010’s Andrew Weatherall-approved “Birdshell”, jostles for space with the dark, EBM lurch of last year’s “Obsession”. There’s also the wonderful parting shot of former single “Analogue Dreams”, whose gently undulating sound manages to capture shards of sunlight glinting off the sea, then tethers them with the sort of bass frequency normally heard through rattling car windows.

These older tracks help to give scope to what is an assured and complete debut. While elements of this LP feel like they’re whizzing down the zeitgeist zipwire (albeit at less than 120 bpm), there’s a depth and history to the sound that sets it apart. Nowhere is this more apparent than “The Curse”, where the distorted, disco drone sounds like a bunch of bikers having a rave on Valium. It’s exactly the sort of dumb fun that’s only ever done successfully by people who are very clever.

The individual tracks are painted in primary colours; bold, broad-stroked and instantly pleasing. However, just like the paintings of Chuck Close, when you step back and look at the piece as a whole, you realise that something much bigger has been going on – that the vision is wider, the palette broader, than you’d ever imagined.

The synth sounds glow with the warmth of a comforting, crackling fire

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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