Bruno Pronsato, The Make Up The Break Up

grzegorzkowalczyk_01
Art by Grzegorz Kowkalcyzk

[Thesongsays]


Buy Vinyl
Buy MP3s

About this time back in 2007, Bruno Pronsato was finishing up his sophomore album, Why Can’t We Be Like Us, and struggling to fit in one final song: an epic, electronic ballad called “The Make Up The Break Up.” It was an especially compelling track, and Pronsato did everything he could to fit it onto the album, but in the end it was just too long and had to be left out. Why Can’t We Be Like Us dropped at the end of the year — promptly receiving a deluge of praise — and “The Make Up The Break Up” remained a work-in-progress, appearing only in scattered cameos throughout his live sets. Pronsato wanted to release it on its own, but ran into many logistical problems: at 38 minutes in length, with no reasonable flip-over point for vinyl, The Make Up The Break Up was even more of a square peg than his previous productions. After several false starts and many months of haggling, he finally decided to release it himself, as the first title on his own imprint, thesongsays. In the end, all this aggravation only attests to the song’s exceptional nature: “The Make Up The Break Up” could be Pronsato’s finest work to date, and is surely one of the best records of 2009.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“The Make Up The Break Up” begins with some of Pronsato’s favorite tropes: sharp buzzes, wet hand-claps, and a medley of abstract but distinctly organic sounds. The first ten minutes are obviously cut from the same cloth as Why Can’t We Be Like Us, focusing heavily on vivid percussion: shakers, brush sticks, and sonorous toms, all of which reflect an audiophile’s attention to detail. Faint shimmers of melody appear after a while, and soon the drums subside, making way for a very deep and very familiar female voice, crooning weird incantations over a blur of violins. This moment forms “The Make Up The Break Up”‘s glowing center; from here on the piece is illuminated, strewn with dim embers of melody. It all dwindles down slowly from there, and soon the bass drum checks out completely, leaving just a handful of loops to sputter out in the cool green haze of the track’s final stretch.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Part of what I love about this record is how it defies categorization: much like “Take 1 / Take 2,” his collaboration with Daze Maxim, it doesn’t fit into any of the typical techno formats (single, album, EP, etc.), and is best seen as a “piece.” In a way, “The Make Up The Break Up” harks back to Manuel Göttsching’s E2-E4, but while that long-playing classic is content to bob in place for 45 minutes, “MUBU” stays on the move, leading the listener across vivid and abstract terrain in what feels like far less than 38 minutes. As with most of Pronsato’s work, it withstands countless listens, and continues to reveal subtle detail after dozens of plays. “The Make Up The Break Up” shows that, like so few of his contemporaries, Bruno Pronsato can follow his strangest impulses and come up with something truly remarkable.

lee burridge deserves to do a fabric cd  on August 6, 2009 at 12:19 PM

best producer in the world pound by pound

pablo/beaner  on August 6, 2009 at 1:47 PM

finally its here.

Sarah Joy  on August 6, 2009 at 5:04 PM

The best from the best

gato por liebre  on August 6, 2009 at 5:51 PM

apparently he’s remixing spandau ballet’s gold
the end of the world is close

Ulterior  on August 6, 2009 at 7:57 PM

so special

Jack  on August 6, 2009 at 9:59 PM

Glorious track!

I’m glad the review doesn’t spoil the vocal sample. Hearing it come in for the first time is a revelation.

kuri  on August 6, 2009 at 11:25 PM

38 minutes? true prog-house at its finest. and if i remember correctly yet another artist now residing in berlin.

Will Lynch  on August 7, 2009 at 11:04 AM

definitely wouldn’t say “prog-house”….

briank  on August 7, 2009 at 12:18 PM

i think ‘experimental house’ works well enough. this track (song?) is amazing! bruno pronsato is one of my favorite producers right now… so abstract and unique, instantly recognizable as his own sound.

kuri  on August 7, 2009 at 1:21 PM

@ Will: that comment wasn’t meant to imply that this is progressive house, but that it’s length, ambition and experimentalism was more in line with prog-rock. your comparison to Manuel Göttsching made me think of his involvement in Ash Ra Tempel, which while technically considered Krautrock contained elements of prog-rock. that and the fact that Steven (AKA Bruno Pronsato) had originally played drums in a rock/metal band before getting into electronic music production seemed appropriate.

Ulterior  on August 8, 2009 at 6:20 PM

these cuts sound so awesome, can’t wait to taste the whole package

Will Lynch  on August 10, 2009 at 12:14 PM

@Kuri: point well made. you’re definitely right that it has the same proggy qualities as the kraut-rock bands that seem to have influenced it, which is a big part of why I like it. just wanted to clarify, for those who haven’t heard the entire record, that it’s not the kind of prog you’d find in DJ Sasha’s crate 😉

Ahoyskin  on August 11, 2009 at 4:57 AM

Can anyone give me a shortlist of must have releases from him? I’m going to have to pick this up.

Chris Burkhalter  on August 11, 2009 at 9:08 AM

This one and Why Can’t We Be Like Us are the ones I’d point to as must-haves.

pablo/beaner  on August 11, 2009 at 11:59 AM

id say the no more vampires ep as “osvaldo” on underline is an absolute must have.

Will Lynch  on August 11, 2009 at 12:07 PM

@ahoyskin: Others – “Take 1 / Take 2” (his collab with Daze Maxim) is also really special.

Ahoyskin  on August 11, 2009 at 8:46 PM

Thanks all! The Make Up The Break Up and Why Can’t We Be Like Us are shipping to me now. I can’t believe I’ve slept on this guy for so long.

Pete  on August 13, 2009 at 10:45 PM

What a fantastic track ! Love it. 390mb as a WAV d/l but worth every meg of it. Also there’s a gazillion podcasts out there as we all know but the Bruno Pronsato on the below link goes straight to the top of my faves list.
Enjoy !

http://www.beyondbooking.com/podcast.asp

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

Popular posts in review

  • None found