We’re big fans of Energostatic Records here at Netlabelism HQ. Their coherent feel as a netlabel, in selection of styles, cover art and website design is something I can never quite get enough of. The 21st release to sprout from their side of the netlabelverse is another winner.
Even on the label website, there’s not a lot of info on Brk. In fact, there’s not a lot a vowel either. We can assume ‘NTTLD’ stands for ‘Untitled’, which to me is always a bit of a missed opportunity. There’s plenty of untitled releases and tracks to go round. Just throw a dart at a dictionary for all I care, but name your babies. It reminds me of a piece of advice I saw on a sticker in Berlin: “Don’t be a maybe. Push hard!” And why shouldn’t Brk put himself out there a bit more? He/she/it has all the right to after an impressive debut.
‘NTTLD’ is a dub techno release, which means a more laidback approach to the ol’ four-to-the-floor paradigm. ‘Ml1′ is a nice example of staying true to the dub techno roots while experimenting with some of the recent trends in a more mechanical kind of dub. Even with a generous splash from the Reverb Cup of Plentiness, synth texture is a bit colder, and song structure a bit more calculated. Just the way I like it.
Ml2′ is a bit more traditional dub techno. A low-pass filtered and never-ending synth-arpeggio coils around a subdued kick to provide the meat of the track, with additional depth provided by faraway synths and some high-end shenanigans that fail to decide whether they want to be hihats or shakers. It all blends together very nicely and passes the ultimate dub techno test: is it suitable for late night travel? Play this release in your car, on a night train or even cycling back home after a night out and you will find that, yes, it very much is.
As always, Energostatic shows the artwork some love as well. The cover photograph is the work of Dutch designer Folker Gorter (Superfamous), who also provided the cover for the latest Energostatic release, Specta Ciera — Mountain Region. His photography often revolves around epic dimensions, with many impressive nature shots and abstract composition. I highly recommend having a look at some of his work.
All in all, another solid release from Energostatic Records. We’d love to hear more from (and about) Brk, and are looking forward to a sophomore release.
BRK – ml1
This review was originally published on netlabelism.com, an online music magazine covering netlabel culture and releases. I was editor for the magazine from January 2011 until December 2014.