The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Reviews

AD Bourke
Mirage jonny mugwump , March 22nd, 2011 12:59

Talk about having your funky cake and eating it. Hailing from Rome, AD Bourke represents the peak of a new kind of electro-boogie composer spearheaded by the likes of Dam Funk with sonic comrades like Onra, Computer Jay and Oriol bringing up the funky rear. What these actually quite disparate producers share are is love for gorgeous day-glo textures resurrected from obscure and not so obscure (Prince and P-Funk keeping it warm) 80s funk, R&B and soul gems which are subsequently whacked into a fluid open-marriage with hip-hop breaks, funky beats and sub-bass.

But there's no sense of retro-activity here – AD reconfigures all this gaudy texture into some seriously wired and hyperkinetic song structures. Restless to the point of insanity, Mirage, an extended EP on the brilliant Citinite label shows off his skills as both musician (there's some speedy fizzy synth playing on display here) and produce. His music is crazed but never loses sight of the pleasure principle, abstract and fit to burst with schizo-editing, but not forgetting to stay tight to a melody or a groove.

We dive in with 'Cosmic Connection' a solid break, a woozy drawl and meandering lead p-synth whilst fragments and flourishes of glitch melodies erupt across the space-scape like electro-firecrackers. '100' pivots on a gargantuan beat while showers of keyboard lines rain down. 'Light Echoes' sounds like just that, early Aphex Twin melodic sparkles around another happy riff. The title track hiccups and stutters around meteor showers of acid bass and what might be chopped guitar? It's almost impossible to tell what's sampled and what's played- everything just so confidently falls into place and makes sense in Bourke's micro-world.

Almost impossibly, this is a highly elegant dementia; like the Tasmanian Devil rampaging round a smooth soul library. All those crazed junglist rhythms that younger producers have absorbed as the norm now ricochet over every aspect of the narrative. Mirage is beautiful, decadent, gaudy and lurid fun but no less serious for that. AD Bourke is one serious talent to watch.

If you love our features, news and reviews, please support what we do with a one-off or regular donation. Year-on-year, our corporate advertising is down by around 90% - a figure that threatens to sink The Quietus. Hit this link to find out more and keep on Black Sky Thinking.