cat number: sp18cd
Microelectronica, bedside-table folk, evocative soundtrackism and the warmest pop in the new tracks of Barcelona band BRADIEN.
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Our new bid for 2009 shows every sign of becoming the most distinctive in spa.RK's discography, but even so it doesn't clash with the label's more electronic elements. With their first full length LP, Bradien hits on two factors that we at spa.RK take very seriously: using electronics as a creative tool which integrate perfectly into the musical language; and demonstrating an absolute consistency of material by separating the wheat from the chaff and pushing ideas to the maximum. And it doesn't take more than 30 minutes to make “Linden” an original and charming record, having a trace of melancholic, summery nostalgia – that captivates us. It's a work which incorporates microelectronica, bedside-table folk, evocative soundtracks and the warmest pop.
Pop? Yes indeed. Bradien create a pop somewhere between laptop folk (here at spa.RK we know a lot about this, our .tape. is one of its most active proponents), the Ahornfelder label, the ocean's swell of the Beach Boys, the delicate Japanese scene, Frank Pourcel vinyls and experimental deconstruction, as well as having post-rock reminiscences, and where references to a Hawaian luau and Czech animation soundtracks also sit comfortably. And these are surely qualities that have caught the attention of the people they have played with in their short career, opening concerts for Yo La Tengo or playing alongside Shiu-Yeung Hui (from Maher Shalal Hash Baz) or Tom Brosseau. For this project they holed up in the studio together with Simon Wallbrook – one of the producers of Kool Keith's “The Return of Doctor Octagon” - which brought clarity to their already luminous and crystalline sound.
Bradien is a band – yes! a band! - formed in 2005 and currently made up of three musicians (Balbini, Pope and Matías Rossi, leader of the band and an artist with a wide experience in experimental electronica) and multiple collaborators (on cello, DJ/rupture collaborator Jenny Jones; the American poet John Giorno; Pablo Ribas; Dave Harris) which means that whether live or in the studio, they exchange instruments: bass, trumpet, melodica, xylophone and guitar being passed from one to the other to catch the fleeting magic of the moment.
With two self-released records - “Minoi Tiare”, a gorgeous 3” CD (2006), and a 7” single shared with Scottish group Dosimat (2007) - Bradien haven't tried to hide their attention to detail and delicateness of a sound that never veers off into the naïve. But the best companion to their records is seeing them live, when the chaos of changing instruments works in their favour, and the amalgam of influences are reinforced with visuals which are totally in tune with their 50s references. Delightful.
"A wonderful surprise, Barcelona three-piece Bradien (Balbini, Dave Harris, and leader Matias Rossi) charms with a half-hour, debut full-length filled with buoyant pop songs where horns, glockenspiels, and melodica carve joyous paths through ‘50s-influenced settings grounded by guitar (acoustic and electric), drums, and bass. There’s an electronic dimension to the band as well but, sonically speaking, Bradien favours a natural sound, with the electronic touches integrated subliminally. Each song is a compact jewel, with each one rich in arrangement and economical in delivery." (Textura Mag)
"Caprichos de trazos irregulares y desarrollos melódicos inciertos, que en la superficie pueden parecer ingenuos y adorables, pero que debajo de la alfombra esconden recovecos y ciertas oscuridades. Un desasosiego que sólo estalla cuando aparece algún elemento extraño (el recitado de John Giorno en “N in S”, por ejemplo), revelando el auténtico potencial de una banda que, al menos en este país, es única en su género." (Go Mag. Vidal Romero)
"Bradien son de Barcelona y Dosimat de Glasgow, pero ambas bandas tienen en común un amor por esa música delicada y detallista que tanto gusta en sellos como Ahornfelder o Audio Dregs. Hablamos de un folk pop levemente deconstruido, en el que hay algún ritmo sintético y alguna grabación de campo, en que los instrumentos parecen de juguete y las melodías suenan deliciosamente naif. De las dos bandas, Bradien es la que mas se preocupa por los aspectos melódicos: en sus dos canciones los instrumentos se sitúan sin pisarse unos a otros, buscando un espacio propio desde el que cada sonido complemente al anterior." (Vidal Romero. Go)
"Bradien are a Barcelona based trio (I think) who play instrumentals that recall the most lugubrious bits of Dirty Three’s early work, as it might have been produced by Bob Ezrin. Dosimat are a Glaswegian quartet who claims to be mostly influenced by the recordings of Moondog. This seems much more credible on the second track than it does on the first, but hey - /any/ Moondog reference is enough to make my teeth wiggle." (Byron Coley. The Wire)