Following up his 2010 debut, bryface has released a collection of new and re-worked LSDJ tracks with Ubiktune under the title ‘VARIOUS TOPICS’. Where this release really excels is in its ability to mix the highly technical melodies and structures that you’d expect from a Ubik release with an instantly accessible rhythm section, giving tracks huge backbones and letting motifs stick quick. ‘seaport’ uses funk and bass to drive the track from full-fledged groove through to deep jazzchip esotericism, with a definite Zan-Zan feel coursing throughout. Opener ‘shifting platforms’ does as its name suggest, forming a constant wave of pleasing melodies, and ‘portsea’, the album’s centrepiece, takes a definitive look at bryface’s methods, resulting in a mass of recognisably unambiguous percussive hooks and orphic melodies.
Elsewhere bryface plays with his own formula; ‘talk of the town’ is quintessential Ubik, a mixture between Jellica and Maxo with a selection of fantastic percussion, and ‘BRAINS. and scotch’ throws a left hook, showcasing some expert syncopated mastery. The only time bryface seems to fall short is when he’s aiming at ambitious epics, however. Whilst his sound is immediately gratifying, the overdrawn works of ‘the tuvan ascendancy’ and ‘rich bastard groove’ leave the tracks spread thin to the point where they become more grating than grooving, especially on the fairly bland overindulgence of the former.
That being said, four years in the making have clearly done bryface good, and it is with a definite sigh of relief that I saw his great work finally being appreciated for its immense quality. Whilst this release is great, it does feel like a stepping stone; but with another more eclectic EP, I predict huge things for this massively deserving artist.
Favourite track: portsea
Grab the release here!