Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep: Roncatto Braathen : "Victory Advancement" Ep (Self-Released)

Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Roncatto Braathen : "Victory Advancement" Ep (Self-Released)

Post-rock/Instrumental music or whatever you want to call it, has been a tired and bloated movement over the last few years. Thankfully, though, 2006 saw a few bands willing to branch out a breathe new life into the genre. While, Grails 'moved the goalposts' significantly with their stunning "Black Tar Prophecies Vol 1, 2 & 3" release, other bands have been incorporating different elements to their music. We Vs Death and Foxhole, for example, make good use of brass instrumentation, while younger bands such as Our Sleepless Forest and Romance of Young Tigers are absorbing psychedelic influences into their expansive compositions.

Peterborough, UK's, Roncatto Braathen opt for a different road on their "Victory Advancement" ep (which is limited to just 33 copies). Instead this duo fuse post-rock structures with Fennesz style ambient haze and some expert piano playing. Bold statements are made in their press release, where Roncatto claim their music "trandscends catergorisation..". Such statements need solid evidence to back it up and over the course of this 5 track ep, there are some fine moments when they manage to.

It all kicks off with "The Melody Haunts My Reverie" which combines vicious sounding storm samples with an off-kilter guitar line, that serves to heighten the tension of this immensely atmospheric track. In parts, it reminds me of some moments on Mogwai's "CODY" album, most notably the track "Chocky".

The storm samples certainly give the opening track a certain edge, but they tend to become a bit over-bearing elsewhere, to the extent that they detract from the music. The best examples being, "A Mechanism Buried Inside You" and "Oh Captain, My Captain". Port-Royal found the perfect combination on their "Flares" album, there are obvious samplesthere, but they are buried in the mix, rather at the forefront and the actual music gets a chance to 'breathe'

However, devoid of any sampling, the digital haze of "Fugue" provides a real highlight and is easily the ep's strongest track. It recalls the work of both Fennesz and Last Days and features washes of digital sound and static, wailing feedback and muted, distorted guitar work. As "Fugue" progresses in slowly unfolds into an alluring melodic passage.

Special mention must also be given to "Oh Captain (reprise)", which at less than 2 minutes long, is a brief but gorgeous track of looped piano sounds. Its short, but most definitely, sweet.

As this is only Roncatto Braathen's 2nd release, "Victory Advancement" shows a young band willing to experiment. The M83 influenced "Oh Captain, My Captain" hints at real potential and once the right balance between the instrumentation and sampling is found, they will be well on their way.

Despite this, though, the "Victory Advancement" ep is well worth investigating, although I'm not sure how many of the 33 copies are left. I am intrigued to see where this duo will go next. Order the ep here.

Rating = 72%



At 30 December, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

RB...amazing,this really does them justice I feel. M


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