October 04, 2018

Nachtbraker - When You Find A Stranger In The Alps (2LP)

QSLP01After a string of acclaimed EPs on Heist, Dirt Crew and Quartet Series, Amsterdam's Nachtbraker presents 'When You Find a Stranger in the Alps', his first longplayer on his own Quartet Series imprint. The good-humoured Dutchman - tongue always firmly in cheek - has always refused to stick to the 'sound du jour' and the industry's conventions, following his own path instead, continually willing to step out of his comfort zone. 'When You Find a Stranger in the Alps', a nod to his favourite Coen Brothers' movie, is testament to Nachtbraker's studio prowess and drive to explore new sonic pastures and styles. The album consists of thirteen tracks, made over the course of 2,5 years in his studio at Volkshotel Amsterdam. Constantly shifting through different settings and moods, the album feels like a deep dream, with vivid details, blurry edges and a warped sense of time. The word "stranger" in the title references to this dream state in which you sometimes can be a stranger to yourself. 

Album opener 'The Dream Sequence' sets the mood with a lo-slung hip-house groove that relies heavily on field recordings, like the sound of one of the capital's trams. 'Flambo', a delectable slice of up-tempo French filtered house, is aimed straight at the dance floor. Nachtbraker dims the lights on 'NSFW', cleverly manipulating samples from adult oriented flicks, and turns in a hilarious skit with 'LOL'. 

Flip over for 'Randy', a quintessential Nachtbraker track, morphing from a Balearic, tropical disco shuffler to a dance floor banger. 'Driving me Lazy' starts out as a downtempo number but changes into a full-on drum 'n bass workout. The driving 'You Can't Run' features drunken chords over a sober beat, conjuring up visions of running circles in a dark maze. 'Just Doing My Thang' rides a classic broken beat, while Nachtbraker pushes the boundaries again on Innaspace, which starts out as an instrumental hip hop track yet finishes on a jungle tip.

'Aliens' is a choppy, headsdown groover with cheeky UFO-geek samples that wouldn't be out of place on a mid-90s West Coast Deep House compilation. 'Horsepony' finds Nachtbraker on a sultry Nightmares on Wax tip. Finally, it ends with where it all started; it'll be the moment "When You Wake Up".

The album is recorded and mixed at Nachtbraker's studio in the Amsterdam Volkshotel. All 13 tracks are run through 2" tape on a Studer A800 and are mastered at Q-lab studio in Basel, Switzerland.