Pépé Bradock, Pistes Insolites Vol. 3


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Underlying Pépé Bradock’s production genius is a vein of weirdness which has grown wider and more prominent at surface level with each passing year. Its influence in the direction and aesthetic of Bradock’s work was apparent even in his relatively straightforward French deep-house tracks from the 90’s,  with a willingness to disengage from four-to-the-floor structure to get truly bombastic. His remixes since have grown more and more askew, his original productions more often cloaked in concepts which shade or embellish the beauty of his arrangements (“Rhapsody in Pain” and “Intriguing Feathered Creature,” respectively) depending on how pronounced the vein was. Arriving on Bradock’s own Atavisme label, “Pistes Insolites Vol. 3” underlines just why his music is so lovable, yet simultaneously so difficult to love.

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Picking up where “Intriguing Feathered Creature” left off, “Mandragore” is a quivering collage of pleasurable tones fluttering at different depths. Its shimmering pitches leap to the forefront, thrumming and flickering with little interest in landing on beat, paired with fuzzy bass tone sizzling in the background and pinned together by lancing hi-hats. “Mandragore” is a dizzying experience not unlike first exposure to the unbridled energy of Times Square. Stylistically, it calls to mind STL’s liveliest tracks and Sound Stream’s “‘Live’ Goes On,” but with an unhinged quality only Bradock can pull off convincingly.

But where “Mandragore” succeeds thanks to his signature weirdness, “Hints of Delusion” is kept from success because of it. Instrumentally full of potential, the tune’s orchestral arrangements descend the musical scale in minor, mysterious intervals, its crackling bass tone filling the remaining nooks and crevices. But a barrage of comically-pitched voices intoning, “Oui monsieur, ouiii monsieur!” among other things, obscures the instrumental, as if Bradock was reticent to allow something simply gorgeous to escape un-perverted. Broadly asserting his unique point of view is what Pépé Bradock built his career on, so it’s no surprise his latest is rife with sublime quirks. Still, I can’t help wishing his twitching weird vein would spare some of his best tracks from being buried under indulgences. (post by Steve Mizek)

rabs  on November 24, 2008 at 1:48 AM

Thanks Pepe for that gorgeous ep again. Absolutely gorgeous!

Heartbeat  on November 25, 2008 at 6:22 AM

I hate my record store for not having any of this one left…
Instead, I bought the previous records from the “Pistes Insolites” series. I’ve always been fond of Bradock thanks for getting my curiosity back towards this brilliant creative weirdness of his.

For those who are not that familiar with Pépé’s music, go and check out this record… on of my fav’… (Panash – Cheval)

Al Smith  on December 10, 2008 at 6:50 AM

The guy is pure class, in a league of his own for me. As mentioned Cheval is class, this new one is probably my favourite.


Little White Earbuds » Little White Earbuds November Charts  on December 4, 2008 at 9:30 PM

[…] Pépé Bradock, “Mandragore” [Atavisme] (buy) 07. Sascha Dive, “Deepest America” (Moodymann remix) [Ornaments] (buy) […]

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