Broker Dealer - Initial Public Offering
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Broker Dealer
Initial Public Offering

Broker Dealer is a duo who seem to be influenced by electronic music from 10 years ago rather than today. That's not a bad thing, as they wrap their subtle sounds in a blanket of new production techniques, resulting in an album of warm electronic music that has enough bounce for dancefloors, but isn't so pounding that it will give you a migraine (and might even be the perfect boost to your morning combined with a cup of warm coffee).

In 9 tracks and just over an hour of music, the group weaves a bed of warm bass and plenty of delayed melodies, resulting in something that feels like the love child of German electronic artists like Mike Ink and early Warp Records stuff (like B12 and Richard Kirk). It's minimal and lush, but not quite as austere as work by Chain Reaction artists such as Monolake, who tend to take on a slightly colder sound. Broker Dealer run with slightly sunnier sounds, with melodies that bubble and repeat, changing only slightly while rhythmic changes break and warm beneath. It's definitely stuff created for the dancefloor, but has as much of a hand in the disco bucket as it does the techno one.

The downfall of the duo is that their palette of sounds just isn't large enough to sustain itself over the course of the album. The first two tracks on the album ("Take Your Time" and "Satin Jacket") both use very similar sounds for both the rhythm and melody, only tweaking each slightly and changing the BPM. If it were any other artist, one track would probably be the remix of the other. "On A Claire Day" mixes in a few more interesting sounds, reversing some clippy handclaps for an off-kilter slide, while "Every Other Sunday" drops a gorgeous, textural melody into heavy loop rotation and swirls in some other reversed sounds behind it while a 4/4 kick slams away.

If you're a big fan of minimal techno, you'll definitely find things to enjoy on the release. There's enough low end to rattle the cabinets, and lush synth pads abound on every track. Interestingly enough, the album closes with a cover of The Court And Sparks "To Hear The Fires," and although it takes a much different route than the rest of the album (mixing in a touch of shoegazer), it's one of the more interesting tracks on the release. Overall, it's a somewhat hit-or-miss debut in a genre that's simply hard to squeeze something truly original out of, but there are enough hints of promise to keep hope.

rating: 6.2510
Aaron Coleman 2003-09-11 00:00:00