There is a scene in the movie Amadeus where the King complains that he did not like one of Mozart’s pieces because it had “too many notes.” Mozart wisely advises the King that if his majesty would simply point out which notes he objects to, Mozart will have them removed.
I bring this up in regard to Brokenkites’ solid IDM offering, No Sun So Brightly Shines, because when I listen to it I find myself thinking that there’s a bit too much of the repetitive WHUMP thump WHUMP thump of a techno/IDM beat. But more to the point, I think it obscures the quality of the rest of the work. On pieces where Brokenkites exercises a bit of percussive restraint, the songs really catch my ear without pushing my hand to the “next” button. There are places where it certainly works better than others. The racing pace and tinny, old-school sound of “Analepsis” picks up its soul from that programmed beat. Same goes for “Opian” as it smoothly changes identities from pulsing dance number to suspense-movie soundtrack and back. One of my favorites here. But listening to “Prolepsis,” I know for sure that Brokenkites can be just as effective when the WHUMPage is dialed down, and it makes me want to hear more of that subtlety at work. He’s got a good feel for a well-chosen beat, but the density and sameness of his choices sometimes pulls the music down under the weight.
Beats aside, No Sun So Brightly Shines is filled with strong melodies that stay with you and a nice mix of sounds that keeps things fresh, track to track. There’s a thoughtfulness of composition that comes through, a sense of the artist having something worthwile to say. In a mix, where one might get a respite from the drums, the disc truly (ahem) shines. I’ve also been listening to his 2008 offering, Fugue State, and delving into both makes me honestly look forward to more from Brokenkites.
Available from CD Baby.