I still needed some time to recover from the Mount Kimbie‘s latest post-punk and krautrock influenced record „Love What Survives“, when Lithuania’s own (now based in Hague) Ernestas Kaušylas – Brokenchord dropped his bombshell of a debut LP „Endless Transmission“ on UK’s Black Acre Records. It might be a coincidence that both of these releases have radically transformed a conventional electronica, yet I choose to believe that electronic dance music, as we know it, came to the end of an era. It’s hard to speculate on what is going to be next but hearing raw, motorik drum patterns and gritty, lo-fi guitars on the albums produced by “electronic” artists is thrilling, to say the least.
Most of us first fell for Brokenchord when he released “Bluestar” EP in 2010. Since then, the artist has supported Bonobo in two of his shows in Lithuania and Latvia, did a remix for Radiohead’s ‘TKOL RMX 1234567’ and released a limited edition vinyl since. Producer’s early works led us to think of his signature sound as something inbetween drowsy dubstep and experimental IDM. As of today, it’s hard to describe what genre he represents. The answer probably lies within the name of his latest album – genres don’t matter as long as the music has a power to endlessly transmit its energy on to us.
As “Endless Transmission” is generously soaked in musical influences, it feels like Brokenchord has received a lot of powerful transmissions himself. Ernestas has revealed that his main inspirations for the album include artists such as DIIV, The Fall, Moon Duo, Beak>, Ty Segall, Föllakzoid, etc.
As the album is running its course, these influences start to make perfect sense. “Cliff/Sparks“ is a decent garage rock piece, strongly dominated by fuzzy guitar riffs and raw drumming by Augustas Baronas. The following track, “Kool Air“, brings a steady, krautrock-ish vibe to the album, which also appears in another tune, “Oscar’s Arp”. “Endless” is an intense, yet celestial-sounding post-punk gem and “Transmission” gradually grows into a radiant shoegaze composition.
With ‘Endless Transmission’, Brokenchord’s original sound, established in his previous works, has mutated from the somewhat abrasive-sounding electronica to more atmospheric and dreamy soundscapes. Even so, the deep synth oscillations in “Door Shutter”, “When You Sleep” or “Ochra” evokes a subtle throwback to his early days.
It takes a lot of guts for an artist to make his debut album so unconventional, almost subversive. Brokenchord manages to do it by producing a raw, inspiring and immensely genuine release. In the context of Lithuania’s music scene, “Endless transmission” is easily one of the strongest releases of the decade, and generally a defining album genre-wise.
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Buy Brokenchord’s music on Bandcamp: https://brokenchord.bandcamp.com/
Hear his latest album on Spotify: