Bruno Pronsato: Lovers Do (Thesongsays)
Steven Ford’s alter ego Bruno Pronsato continues on his unique trajectory to the outer nether regions of dance music with this expansive set of minimal tech house tracks. My first impression of his work was on Akufen’s Musique Risquée imprint, when he was still making punchier tracks that felt more immediate and somehow made sense aligned with Akufen’s overarching vision and sensibility. Since then he’s continued to push further away from convention, combining elements of disco and house in oblique and non-obvious ways with more prolonged, linear electronic workouts. There’s something that feels quite human and organic about this music, despite it being so minimal. The sounds themselves are warm and easy which makes the sometimes meandering, slow evolution of each track less of a challenge. The album has this much in common with some of Ricardo Villalobos’s tracks, but even when tracks here run long they don’t necessarily fall down the self-indulgence K-hole to the same extreme that Villalobos sometimes can. Hand claps, electric piano, vibes, shakers, piano and more are scattered throughout this album, a somewhat conventional house palette that underpins some pretty out-there experiments. But Ford always makes it back to territory that feels at least familiar enough to groove to, striking the balance between the familiar and the other just right most of the time. Voices flit in and out of the mix on nearly every track, but they’re consistently altered and manipulated to sound alien and disorienting. “An Indication Of The Cause (1)” is one of my personal favorites with its sprawling repetition and odd-ball synth manipulations overhead. “Winter Music For Summer” is another favorite with its insistent synth chords and bassline, unfolding quite gracefully. I’d perhaps recommend this more for at-home listening than the dancefloor, but it works on both.