Scandinavia has a reputation as a hotbed of musical talent. Look at the remarkable successes of Aqua and Whigfield for example. The latest in the line of exports from the Nordic nations is Brothomstates, aka 23-year-old Finn, Lassi Nikko, who, just like his aforementioned compatriots, makes ear-destroying, headache-inducing, violence-provoking noise for a living. The difference is that only Nikko does this intentionally.
Brothomstates’ first new material since the dislocated ‘Qtio EP’ earlier this year is occasionally mellow, frequently fractious, and always keen to wrong-foot the listener. Take track ten on this LP, ‘Mr Kitschock’. Imagine what Hot Butter’s novelty hit ‘Popcorn’ would have sounded like, had it been written by a tone-deaf man, who, whilst deep in the thralls of paranoia and under the influence of mind-altering substances, had then committed it to tape in the echoey surroundings of a public toilet. Imagine this, and, apart from risking some kind of mental collapse, you will have some idea of what large sections of ‘Claro’ are all about.
The very notion of a ‘tune’ is clearly not something that Nikko has a great deal of respect for. Not a problem. Listening to this record, it’s only sensible to conclude that, while melodies may sometimes be all well and good, you just can’t beat the sound of a modular synth having a fight with what appears to be a runaway steam-hammer.
There is something appropriate about Brothomstates presence on the Warp roster. Either Nikko took it upon himself to absorb much of the label’s ground-breaking output in his younger days, or it is an unlikely coincidence that much of his work so closely resembles past recordings by the likes of Autechre, Boards Of Canada and Aphex Twin. With such a non-linear collection of influences, it should really come as no surprise that ‘Claro’ is a marvellously twisted collection of strangled electronic sound.
9Jonathan Rawcliffe's Score