April 03, 2012 - Fat Cat
This review originally ran in AP 286.
London collective Breton reside in that space of a Venn Diagram where downtempo atmospheres overlap with modern electronic-music technology. The 11 tracks on Other People’s Problems conjure images seemingly bathed in any combination of harsh synthetic light, be it ultraviolet, flickering fluorescents, monochrome computer monitors, buzzing heat lamps or intrusive bug zappers. But as the band’s stew of hip-hop beats, samples (both gritty and atmospheric) and frontman Roman Rappak’s vocal style come together, the proceedings sound remarkably warm and human. Breton bring everything from loping DFA-label party funk (“Jostle”), time-stretched smoov grooves (“Oxides”) man-vs.-machine conflict (“Ghost Note”) and slow pulsing ambience (“The Commission”) to create more compelling songs than the legion of dubstep mouse-movers choking SoundCloud’s servers like so much aural cholesterol. Easily one of the best debuts of 2012—or 2022, for that matter.