At face value, Berlin’s shadowy Milton Bradley might come across as portentous: he’s the type that goes in on track titles like “Somewhere Beyond My Illusion” and production aliases such as The End Of All Existence. But his first 12″ for Prologue, 2010’s The Unheard Voice From Outer Space, tastefully earned the charred-planet imagery on its label, bypassing cheese for subtle foreboding. But despite the post-human signposts, his worn-down techno is comforting in its bleakness. Suspended between poorly lit dance floors and deep space, he makes stubbornly flat tracks, preferring small tweaks and chance collisions to dynamic or structural changes. Like labelmate Cio D’Or, he gives one solid push and then cruises in a zero-gravity environment of his own creation.
Appropriately enough given this talk of linearity, the A-side of his second EP for the Munich label picks up where The Unheard Voice left off: the above-mentioned “Somewhere Beyond My Illusion” was the earlier EP’s final track, functionally ambient despite the presence of a kick drum. Reality Is Wrong‘s title track ups the ante with 10 minutes of dubby hypersleep, a drifting interplay between engine-room sub-bass and a clinking procession of far-off galaxies. It’s enjoyable, although it might be too open ended to feel complete presented on its own side of vinyl. If Milton Bradley weren’t averse to albums, “Reality Is Wrong” might get more traction in such an expansive context — but even presented as is, it’s an obelisk that threatens to overshadow the rest of the EP. The B-side balances things out with a couple of beat-driven tracks: “The Unbearable Lightness” and “Trapped in Eternity.” Both contrast pistoning rhythms and droning exhalations, immediately producing a palpable sense of unease as if galvanized by the unhurried title track. While the first side of Reality Is Wrong dilates time, the second contracts it.