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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mark Bradley - "Drifting"

Artist: Mark Bradley
Album: Drifting
Year: 2008
Label: Feelscape Recordings
Drone, Ambient
Website: http://myspace.com/downloaded1

Packaging: 1/10
Very poor quality hand-printed inserts. The artwork just looks like a slop of random faded colors. The text of the album spines isn’t lined up correctly, and the text on the back cover is not even easily readable.

Composition: 2/10
Man here we go, another ambient producer who has no fucking idea how to make music. To his credit, the sounds here aren’t the worst shit ever recorded (although they are pretty poor and without a doubt uninspired), but what absolutely kills this is the complete clusterfuck of a mixing job. The mixes are so fucking unbalanced. There will be three sounds going on and one will be super deep low end and the other two will be super super high pitched and that will be it. If that’s not bad enough, it appears there was no processing on anything, so there is tons of clipping, static, shitty tones and no ceiling for volume so shit will come in and be 20 times louder than the other elements in the mix and just hang there grating on your ears and nerves. Even if an element is not that bad, the shitty mixing makes it sound ten times worse.

He gets two points because he finally almost doesn’t get it wrong on the last track. The last track is full of non-abrasive sounds which are almost pretty. The mixing is still a joke and the sounds lack true depth or presence, but this track is clearly less horrendous. I almost enjoyed it until he decided to add a fucking annoyingly loud warbly noise that goes on steadily for like 4 minutes drowning out the other sounds. Anyway, if he were to make stuff like this it might have potential.

Production: 0/10
GET A FUCKING SPECTRAL ANALYSIZER!!!! Fuck, these are the absolute most unbalanced mixes of all time. Most of the time it’s painful to listen to because the mixes are so unbalanced and there is absolutely no sense of composition, structure, mixing, processing, or, you know, that tiny insignificant part of music creation called…ah…oh yeah, production.

Artistic Merit: 0/10

Flow: 3/10

One thing this album has going is that, despite the fact that the mixes sound like an absolute cesspool, is that there is occasionally some sense of ebb and flow to these pieces. Usually the tracks start with one sound and attempt to build on it to create a larger soundscape. However each sound is so terrible that it doesn’t really matter how much building happens because it never ceases to sound annoying.

Overall: 1/10
My ears will never be subjected to this again and there is no reason at all for you to subject your ears to this. However, if Mark Bradley learns how to properly mix and process sounds he might have the potential to not be the worst ambient producer ever.

-dan barrett

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