It must be difficult for Breakbot. Whilst his label cohorts – Justice, SebastiAn and Riton et al – created an entire scene out of compressed, glitchy electro that soundtracked an entire generation, Breakbot – real name Thibaut Berland – has steadfastly been creating his own signature sound that, on first inspection, doesn’t really fit with Ed Banger’s club pedigree.
His first album had some really enjoyable moments – but it sounded a bit same-y in places and not all that imaginative. Thankfully, Breakbot has had another go at his vision of a future of boombastic bright-eyed funk, and this time he totally nails it in concept and execution. In fact, if you’ve heard ‘Back For More’, ‘2Good4Me’ and ‘Get Lost’ you’ve actually heard the album’s weaker tracks. Everything else is head and shoulders above the first three singles on offer.
Better yet, ‘Still Waters’ features some of Breakbot’s finest work to date. High points come thick and fast with the faux trap funk of ‘Man Without Shadow’, which is probably Irfane’s finest contribution to the album, too. Elsewhere, the proto electro-funk of ‘All It Takes’ adds some much needed club punch into proceedings coming at the perfect time for the album’s final third, and the album’s closer, ‘Still Waters’, is the perfect finish to an album that’s big on vocals, luminous melodies and rubbery basslines. Yes, ‘Still Waters’ is a ludicrously over-the-top nostalgia-driven journey that’s almost impossible to listen to with a straight face – but there’s a level of complexity on show throughout that’s often missing from this kind of kitsch-y music. Despite its garishly, positive outlook there’s some tender and considered moments in there too, including ‘In Return’ and the aquatic ‘Wet Dream’. Quite simply, Breakbot and his favourite vocalists have finally delivered an album worthy of their considerable talents.
Out February 5 via Ed Banger Records.