Pitchfork (Website) - "[It's] the most ambitious work of his career, tackling social and historical injustices of the past..."
Personnel: André Bratten (vocals, guitar, piano, Fender Rhodes piano, omnichord, synthesizer, drums, percussion, bells, drum programming); Susanne Sundfor (vocals); Ole Henrik Moe (violin, viola, cello); Bendik Hovik Kjeldsberg (drums).
Audio Mixer: André Bratten.
Recording information: Small Landscapes (12/2012/07/2015).
Photographer: Tor Smaaland.
Arranger: André Bratten.
Since debuting in 2013 with his album Be a Man You Ant on Prins Thomas' Full Pupp label, Oslo-born electronic artist André Bratten has melded Scandinavian cosmic disco with fizzy tech-house reminiscent of Booka Shade or various Kompakt-signed artists. Months after the release of his Math Ilium Ion EP, featuring the Erol Alkan-approved groover "Trommer & Bass," Bratten returns with Gode, a sophomore album that ventures far away from the club, abandoning disco influences in favor of highly personal experimental techno and downtempo. Bratten still composes music with analog synthesizers and drum machines, but this album also utilizes field recordings, pianos, strings, tape manipulation, and vocals, combining influences such as contemporary classical, arctic drone, and IDM. After a few crackling, shivering numbers (including "Cave," which features Bratten meekly warbling "I'm in a cave" over a calm yet slightly nervous beat), the more uptempo "Philistine" seems like it's going to mark a return to his dancefloor-friendly sound, but the chugging disco beat never kicks in as expected, and the distraught synths swarm until the beat drops to a crawl, surrounded by swirling samples of lost conversations and cheering children. The spectacularly doomy "Cascade of Events" features Susanne Sundfor sighing "if only it was easy" over softly quaking textures. "Space Between Left and Right" keeps its melodies simple and sparkling and its beats busy and clicky, and the seven-minute, vocoder-laden "Zero" sounds as if Boards of Canada replaced childhood nostalgia with petrified apocalyptic dread. The album ends with a soft, atmospheric piano meditation that shares its title and nothing else with Bratten's previous EP. Seemingly out of nowhere (but actually taking three years to materialize), Bratten has crafted a spectacular, surprisingly confessional album of bone-chilling electronic music suggesting that his previous releases barely hinted at his prodigious talents as a composer and arranger. ~ Paul Simpson