Pépé Bradock ‎– Confiote De Bits / A Remix Collection

by Pépé Bradock

  • Double CD Album
    Compact Disc (CD)

    18 tracks over two CD's. Comes in a beautiful gatefold card case

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about

Creating a niche for oneself as a remixer is something of a double-edged sword. No matter how gifted a producer may be at reinterpreting and recontexualising a piece of music, it's hard to believe that any artist would willingly become known as the person whose best ideas are literally the sum of someone else's parts. For the best—and most successful—remixers, idiosyncracy is the key; recent remix collections of DJ Koze and Carl Craig attest to that. Pepe Bradock's Confiote de Bits collection will likely receive less attention than Koze's and Craig's releases, presumably in part because he rarely allows for interviews or other forms of self-promotion, but it deserves to be considered in the same regard.

Existing at the fringes of French Touch hype in the late 1990s via tracks like "Deep Burnt," the enigmatic producer was seemingly unaffected when the genre fell out of favour. Over the last decade or so he has continued to release an average of one 12-inch per year via his own Atavisme imprint, and all the while he has quietly amassed a huge and varied collection of remixes. The uniqueness of Bradock's productions often lies within the looseness of the mix. The bass is often muffled, the pads undefined and the rhythmic accompaniments—anything from mouth sounds and jerky breath noises to wooden block percussion, electronica fuzz and jazz samples—are unexpected, layered and jostle for attention. It's an entirely precarious combination but somehow totally balanced at the same time. And it's the same with his remixes: There's never a sense that Bradock intentionally sets out to create a dance floor bomb, or a moody dub mix. He's simply rewriting the content with his own quirky vocabulary.

Although all the remixes of Confiote de Bits have received "special tweaking and editing" by Bradock for this collection, that's secondary to the achievement of BBE actually sourcing and collating this in the first place. Two particularly hard-to-find remixes make this worth the price of the entry alone: his strings-n-bass collaboration with Jackson as Panash', and the sublime Afro-house rework of Block 16's "Morning Sun" from the late Nuphonic Records, which has been all but lost since the label's demise.

Elsewhere Bradock's remixes are an exercise in embracing the unexpected. Another welcome inclusion is his refix of Cesaria Evora's "Angola," taken from the Club Sodade remix project of the Portugese singer. While another better-known remix of the same track—by Carl Craig—became an instant club favourite, Bradock's take is a brooding, restrained affair, with a cheeky narcotic groove and dubbed out vocals. Similarly, the sometimes-saccharine house harmonies of Atlanta duo Kemetic Just are beefed up in Bradock's hands, with less drippy romance and more urgent masculinity, and the chill-out darlings of accessibility, Zero 7, become almost unrecognisable, morphing into a group occupying unsettling reverbed atmospheric electronica territory, courtesy of his "WTF HPPND mix"—a title that could be applied to just about every single refix here.

credits

released June 29, 2009

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BBE London, UK

Sometime after the Universal Robot Band and sometime before where we are now, a pair of DJ/promoter/whatevers, Pete Adarkwah and Ben Jolly, ran a successful club night named after our eponymous song, playing a joyful mix of all they considered good. 'Wouldn't it be fun,' they mused, 'To release some of these tunes?' And so BBE (Barely Breaking Even) was born. ... more

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