Arguably preempting a sea-change in the way that French electronica is percieved, Brodinski has certainly bucked the trend of Parisian chic-house and Daft-Punkery with his debut full-length Brava, a blend of hip-house, footwork and deep, dark beats that reaches far beyond the constraints of the traditional scene. Brodinski (Louis Roges to his friends), appears to be far more comfortable looking towards the Atlanta hip-hop scene than many of his peers for whom Chicago and Detroit are the brightest beacons of inspiration, and as a result, Brava focuses on a dynamic that sees collaboration between producer and vocalist as the raison d’être behind the creative ends of the record.
Throughout Brava, a heady mix of rhyme and rhapsody are blended to an extent that showcases Roges as a forward-thinking producer who isn’t afraid to explore the grimier, rougher edges of angular electro, albeit with a heavy reliance on Southern state rap. Tracks like ‘Can’t Help Myself’ (feat. SD) and ‘Francois-Xavier’ (feat Young Scooter) are sludgy, deep and staggered, reminiscent of many of the Trap scene’s go-to sonic tropes, but there are moments of 4/4 techno and break-beat, electro flourishes that communicate the Brodinski mission statement effectively, and wouldn’t sound out of place half-way through a Dave Clarke set. Heavy stuff, basically.
Formula seems to be at the front of Roges’ mind though, as many of the tracks on Brava stick to a stop/start/stop/start compositional style that allows for the listener to experience both the vocal dexterities of the record’s many collaborators as well as the production values to which they lay their flows upon. Unfortunately, this is too prevalent a feature throughout the album, so much so that tracks often bleed stylistically over each other and it’s difficult to distinguish whether this record is ultimately an exercise in producing for the many MC’s that feature on it or a showcase of Roges’ talents behind the desk, with rappers another of his wide array of tools.
That being said, Brodinski has offered something new; something exciting, and as a debut full-length effort, Brava is most definitely a record that should tick many boxes for fans of techno, electro, rap and hip-hop, and that’s not a bad situation to find oneself in.