Juno review of Pépé Bradock's Acid Test

If ever you were to enter into a listening experience with a sense of uncertainty, it could very easily be with this record. Acid Test, a sublabel of L.A collective Absurd, has in just a small cluster of releases established itself as a reliable bastion for futuristic considerations of 303-driven dance music. There’s no escaping the omnipresent acid machine, still as fetishised and relied upon for rave nastiness as when Phuture paved the way back in ’87. Where scores of producers still see an acid track as a simple combination of drum machine beats and the aforementioned 303, the team behind Acid Test are more concerned with deepening the creative possibilities that the tried and tested sound can be contorted to.

Their releases so far from Achterbahn D’Amour, Tin Man and Donato Dozzy amongst others have illustrated just how diverse an instrument the lysergic squelch can be, buying into the psychedelic potentials without once alluding to the predictability of a ‘jack track’. Pépé Bradock is likewise a tricky proposition to second guess, with a careering sound that swerves into all-out jazz territory via refined deep house, nutty found sound collages and plenty more besides. It’s not so common to find him turning to a more focused kind of rave music though, seemingly more concerned with the cerebral than the physical in his output, and so that previously referenced uncertainty looms large over this record before putting it on.
Pépé Bradock - Lifting Weights

Of course it’s more excitement than nerves that dominate, which is thankfully justified across every single second of this seventeen-minute record, with Bradock rising to the label’s remit with aplomb and serving up a kind of acid you will have never heard before. “Lifting Weights”, and its counterpart “Mujeres Nerviosas”, sport the hallmark Bradock tendency to cover many different moods and moments within their running time.

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