Our Daily Bread 512: Brainwaltzera ‘ITSAME’

April 19, 2022

ALBUM REVIEW/Mikey McDonald

Joining the auspicious Monolith Cocktail pool of contributors this month, Glasgow local Mikey McDonald makes his debut as a music-writer, with a review of the recent Brainwaltzera album, ITSAME.

Mikey’s CV is very unique, eclectic. A resident of Glasgow, Mikey can normally be spotted running the streets of the city as long distance running enthusiast. A former full time poker player, Mikey is searching for new career opportunities, including sports rehabilitation. He’s previously been posting chat, games outcomes, strategy on the poker related rantings of a 6max SNG blog, and his musical tastes, recommendations can be found on Last FM.

Brainwaltzera ‘ITSAME’

Brainwaltzera (one can simply translate to ‘braindance era’) makes a return with his sophomore album titled ITSAME. The album comprises 17 tracks and marks the first full length from this anonymous producer in almost half a decade.

On the opener/self-titled track the man himself samples his own kids saying “ITSAME” and from the get-go it’s obvious this is going to be a very personal affair. ‘morning narcomnastics’ (gymnastics + narcotics?) is a nostalgic trip and a real triumph. This track exhibits scissor snips and bleeps that come in and out of the mix, which could quite easily have been sampled from a household appliance. These sounds in isolation may not be pleasant to listen to but fuse them together and you have a rather delicious sounding melody.

‘Reptikon 7’ hits hard and would fucking slap in a 90s underground rave. On this track the artist plays an e-cigarette as a bass – talk about next level ingenuity. The track breaks down around the midsection and really allows the static of that e-cig to flourish. Ask yourself how many musicians out there are playing an e-cigarette as a bass. I thought so… The latter half presents muffled vocal cries à la Future Sound Of London, and drive the track forward to an exquisite finish.

Meanwhile, ‘a star is bored’ could have been called ‘a star is born’ and is laced with unintelligible yet breathtaking samples and lush synths. Placing this track straight after the bold and menacing ‘Reptikon 7’ feels intentional and creates contrast in a big way.

Moments of respite are offered in the form of acoustic driven ‘PROVE UR NOT A ROBOT [SKIP]’ and ‘PROVE UR NOT A ROWBOAT [SKIPPER]’ and unfortunately (or fortunately) I didn’t skip either of these tracks failing to prove I’m neither a robot nor a rowboat. No regrets. ‘evening narcomnastics’ lives up to the expectations set by its sister track and features stunning electric guitars that are akin to whale calls.

Elsewhere, ‘F1 Halo’ is a moment the Sandison brothers would be proud of and offers some time to reflect before the album comes through with a big finish. ‘consent’ rather unsurprisingly contains samples of a male & female agreeing with each other and is another delight which provides plenty of warmth and feel-good before things turn frantic.

The foreboding ‘ad interim’ kicks off sounding like the end of the world and is peppered with video game like sound effects before we’re hit by a swarm of bugs in what sounds like a full scale attack, dare I even say alien invasion. Only the brave soldier on. Ominous atmospheres continue on the equally formidable ‘medal headz [G.B.D.F]’ which is likely a reference to the drum and bass music label ‘Metalheadz’ established in the mid 1990s, and this track also includes the ‘ITSAME’ samples from the opener but here they’re more distorted, more haunting.

Penultimate track ‘brothers [drop mic]’ is a playful number and could be a nod to Scottish legends and pioneers Boards of Canada. In this track the sampling and manipulation of children’s voices evokes feelings of nostalgia and takes the listener on a trip down memory lane. At this point of the album you could be forgiven for standing up and applauding but we’re not done yet. Closer ‘No fair’ confronts loss and delivers a gut-wrenching bassline and eerie samples of a French woman speaking. It fucks me up every time I hear it yet still I go back for more. In summary, the album is packed with nuances and little intricacies – so much so your ears are likely to detect something new with each listen as cliché as that may be to say. There’s so much detail you can practically hear the artist think through each track as the album unfolds. Now, one thing up for debate is the various ways in which to pronounce this ambiguous album title – ‘EATS-AH-MEH’, ‘IT SAME’ or ‘ITS-A-ME’ like ‘ITS-A-ME, MARIO!’ – perhaps down to the listener’s own interpretation. One thing not up for debate…ITSAMASTERPIECE

Review written by Mikey McDonald

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