Pépé Bradock, Imbroglios Part 2


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Pépé Bradock has a sound and style all his own: at once instantly identifiable and yet rarely stagnant. Indeed, Bradock could churn out another “Deep Burnt” every year and record buyers would go nuts each time, but his releases are both few and far between and always unpredictable — who could forget “Rhapsody In Pain”? Showing up a couple months ago, Imbroglios Part 1 was the first Atavisme transmission since 2009’s incredible “Path Of Most Resistance,” and Bradock die-hards were treated to some extra-good news with the promise of a four-part series on the label. Part 1 delivered in spades, with the delirious loft party house of “12Turn13” and “Katoucha?” coupled with a handful of experiments in weirdo sounds, and perhaps unsurprisingly Part 2 is a similar mix-up of outsider music and dance-floor jams.

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“@The Stanley” starts us off with the type of strange electronic jazz that seems to seep into so much of Bradock’s work. It happens to be one of the prettiest things he’s done in awhile, as well as the record’s highlight, with a bright, plucked bass line, insistent finger snaps, and pitched electronic tones providing the kind of blissful, relaxed vibes that go so well with summer mornings. “Decision Fatigue” is a bit harsher — crunched to bits and almost crumbling under its tweaking LFOs, but flips things up midway with semitonal dial tones and, in its last couple seconds, Bradock fades in a house track, only to have the record immediately cut off. Flipping over the B-side we don’t get a continuation of that house track, but rather “Hello!”, a percussive roller that indulges every now and again in filter-house-esque moments. “Ma Souris Est Folle” sees things off with a storming disco-house number just kept in control despite Bradock’s titular “crazy mouse,” and solidifies Imbroglios Part 2 as one of the year’s best, most thought-out EPs. It flows across its four tracks with little regard for how things are supposed to go, taking sharp left turns wherever it would like to and providing some thrilling music along the way. Who knows what Bradock has in store for parts 3 and 4 of the Imbroglios series, but if it’s as confounding, baffling, and riveting as these first two, it would seem that we’re in for quite a treat.

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