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Our very own James Brown is a talented chap, not only does he share his name with one of the founding fathers of funk, he’s also a dab hand at production, under his Plainview moniker, and he’s also a bit of a wordsmith, too.

Having been on the label merry-go-round for quite sometime, the London-based producer has turned to Bandcamp for his latest release, ‘Sqr.’

His EP kicks off with, ‘sqr(A)/Mahasamatman’, an acrid slab of heavily compressed electro, that’s festooned with finicky melodies and skittish percussion, but as the track develops and hits its groove there are underlying nods to EBM and techno, too.

‘sqr(B)/Mandala’ follows a similar path, but it’s slower, darker, and more abrasive. Think Fake Blood and Gesaffelstein and you’re on the right track, and while it might not be as accomplished there’s no doubt in Brown’s ability to combine dark and light textures in unison.

For our money, though, ‘sqr(C)/McHoan’ is the pick of the bunch, it’s still dark as Mordor but it’s expertly countered with a jangling melodies that perforate through the track’s basslines and percussion.

‘sqr(D)/Pilgrim’ is the only track really offers something different, the synth palette is warmer and less intense, though don’t fooled as it still packs as punch when the basslines begin to mutate over a metronomic percussion line. And then there’s a doughy melody towards the end that’s the cherry on the top.

Better still you can download the whole EP for a price that you decide, but don’t pay nothing as no one likes a scrooge.


Andrew Rafter

Andrew Rafter is the editor and founder of Harder Blogger Faster.