Album Review – ABRI29: BRIQUE ROUGE

ABRICATALOG puts out some of the best underground Creative Commons compilations in the game. 

BRIQUE ROUGE is the latest and it excels once again.

AW YEAH! That’s the voice we hear opening up the album with Queskonafait by FULL QUANTIC PASS. Immediately, we are welcomed to pulsing electronics and filtered synths over a breakbeat that flows from states of modern techno tones to pure 90’s snare hits. The track makes you move and is constantly moving, keeping the same flow but almost aging, finding new eras of sounds as it progresses. As the track ends, the periphery fades away and we are left with the breakbeat and it’s clear just how delicately handled the details of it are.

Next, 2002 by ARGO mixes a sampled acoustic guitar, a deep kick, and a vocal sample that seems to warble, wiggle, and wrap itself around the song. These 3 elements work together eloquently along with a glass-like rattle and siren to build a signature vibe. They break apart at perfect moments to allow new worlds to build for just a few seconds before they are broken apart again always leaving you wanting more.

The sirens fade and we are in Dérapage controlé by DLGHT which puts the voice of ABY FULANI front and center. Once again led by a breakbeat the song is bookended by the first true chorus of the album and split in the middle by an instrumental break of choppy stuttering electronics.

We arrive at 286 Kingston Road. It’s dark outside and I’m stumbling down the street to the cyber-slime built by MDPEW. The billboards are bright, eyes won’t seem to adjust. Everyone is passing by me and giving me “the eyes”, you know the ones. I duck under some cover to get out of the rain and I emerge into an alley where the world is quieter until I turn around and see what’s been following me. Fear builds and settles as I realize it’s just my imagination. But imaginations can run wild. I’ve been sucked into the goo. The World, he’s alive and well. His sludge friends want a word with you. Perhaps more than any other track here, this one seems to have been borne from an experience that is truly not of this planet.

If this were a game, we’d have arrived at the boss fight. Glass Gang by SKWIG is grounded by the ringings of glass tubes, spaced just so that you would expect a rapper to come in. But the synth lines are king here. Each instrument and line running their fingers through your hair. Every sound here feels so meticulously chosen and treated. They are all unique, yet all part of the same world. This music must want me to complete the task at hand if only I knew what that was.

You could forgive someone for thinking the jazz club was about to sink into the earth at the start of Velvet Darkness by DJ DRAAI. A light dit dit da dit on a hi-hat is surrounded by a dark glowing gloom which relieves itself into an infectious beat and fascinating choral vocal samples. The club has not sunk, it has in fact never been here at all. You are alone in a booth, on the street, far outside from the town you have come to know and love. Absinthe drips in front of you as you look outwards at a stage just on the horizon filled with light and what look to be performers. Are they swaying? You get up to go closer and find yourself on a moving platform gliding you forward but never nearer. Forward but not closer. The ground whizzes past you but the horizon never changes. The wind on your face feels incredible, the weight of your body slips away and you are….alive? This is at least what it feels like to listen to this masterpiece.

ENGINE revs their machine, the brand new “VR6”. It rings the truth with harsh mechanics, a grime-lined subway, and the echoes of an 8-bit game from long ago. This is the rave you heard about but were too scared to go to. A party full of zombified eyes and lights that are both bright and too dim. You can almost smell the sweat, feel the bodies, and forget the day.

The penultimate track, Triple Descente Du Coude by RYUK PHIS announces that the party has officially arrived. A trap beat with a gentle French rap over it is a simply digestible track that brings a welcome opportunity to sit back, nod, and relax or to get into it and bop your head to the tight beat.

To end the evening, Snow Becomes Heavy brings what is perhaps the strongest track on the record. The piano in this track is perfectly set to stir the nostalgia of a winter you’ve never had. The perfect silence of snow dropping is complimented by the silky vocals and delicate hits of a hi-hat. Everything you’ve ever hoped to glean from the warmth of a fire is here, and it’s yours.

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