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Friday, February 28 • 01:30 - 02:00
André Bratten (NO)

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Andre Bratten was born in Oslo and grew up in a suburb of the Norwegian capital, which borders on the deep, dark Scandinavian forest. Like most kids in the late 1990s, he was bitten by the hiphop bug, but he also got turned on by the Led Zeppelin records he picked out from his father’s record collection. He’s broadminded enough to be into everything from the Norwegian electronica masters Røyksopp to Metro Area, Sigur Rós, Eno, Cluster and Weather Report.
Currently dwelling in the heart of the city, his efforts with the synthesizer coincided with a huge boom in Norwegian electronic music, his productions recently came to the attention of Norwegian ‘cosmic disco’ mogul Prins Thomas and his Full Pupp colony. Andre’s tracks share the exploratory vibe of the 80s synth pop pioneers, and misfit electronic pop musicians like John Foxx, who were forced learning to sculpt new sounds with new tools. Yet he updates those sounds to a contemporary rhythm matrix, in parallel with the dayglo analogue dance music of Lindstrøm, Todd Terje and Prins Thomas himself – and he just happens to share the central Oslo studio space used by that glorious trinity.
But Andre has always known his own mind and was never going to be content with being just another anonymous insect in the logpile. So his debut album, Be A Man You Ant, is a string individual statement, his ‘I am Spartacus!’ moment. It computes almost infinite variations on the sounds he could extract from a single modular synthesizer – ‘the limitations are inspiring’, he says. So you’ll find squelchy bugs in the bassbin, weird analogue squeegee smears, bright drum machine splats and the occasional significant pause. The spaces in his music are at least as important as what fills it. Listen to the movement of “I Am Square”, how he gets a yearning effect from a few vapour-trail synth wipes. Or the vivid, neon synth solos in “Aegis” and “Second Steepest”. “Libra” is as stripped-back as a late 90s Cologne Minimal joint. Like the best electronic dance music, you can follow sounds on their individual journeys through each track, and nothing ends quite as it started. The ants really do become men.
If so much Scandinavian techno has been content to sound relaxed, steam-bathed and scrubbed-up, Andre Bratten’s music rejects cosiness and whimsy, and steps away from pleasing the crowd. Get ready to let it caress your antennae.


Friday February 28, 2014 01:30 - 02:00 CET

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