Rinse Presents: Brackles
The latest in the Rinse Presents series comes from London-based DJ and producer Brackles. Brackles has steadily built a name for himself as a DJ and producer to watch, after he started spinning at 15 years old and went on to become a regular at London's world famous FWD>> club night and host of his own weekly show on Rinse FM. As a producer, he's released several highly sought-after releases, including 2011's Number One 12" on Rinse. Brackles' DJ sets are renowned for being full of party-starters, energetic and elastic, effortlessly taking in funky, grime, vintage 2-step and bassline. Over the past few years, his productions have increasingly grown to reflect the careful selection and eclectic approach that makes his sets so compulsive: all deftly-swung percussion that nods to UK garage, the rude, grimey swagger of funky and technicolor washes of synth. There's something unmistakeably London about Brackles' music too -- it's present both in the sheer rawness and vibrancy of his tracks, and in the way he effortlessly draws upon the city's entire dance music history for ideas and energy. Brackles' Rinse Presents full-length hones his sound still further, retaining his distinctive, bright, crisp production approach while expanding his scope considerably. Across its length, razor-sharp club tunes and deep, percussive house tracks sit comfortably alongside some of his most upfront and pop-friendly music to date. And they're often all at play within the space of a single track: the four vocal tunes all wield the same balance of grit and soul that powered some of funky's most definitive anthems. Opener "Never Coming Down," for example, sets a honeyed vocal from Lily McKenzie to tightly-syncopated percussion and booming sub-bass. And where McKenzie's vocal performance is smooth and languid, Terri Walker's appearance on the shuffly "DPMO" is jittery and defiant, turning Brackles' angular garage backdrop into an unlikely pop song. The instrumentals on Rinse Presents: Brackles are equally powerful. "I Can't Wait" and "Squarehead" both all add extra muscle to the sort of spiky garage he's released though Blunted Robots in the past, all explosive sub-bass and hard snare hits, while "Too Much" stains a grime instrumental day-glo. The gorgeous "Lighthouse" and closer "Earphone Memories" take on the bass-heavy house sound that's currently owning UK dancefloors, but bury it deep in layers of fluorescent melody. And "Walkin' Out" is something different again, a volatile and unpredictable flurry of drum-hits and wispy synth, it's likely to throw a curveball at any dancefloor. A very London sound, then, from a producer never content to remain fixed in any one place, Rinse Presents: Brackles is a formidable statement of intent.