Tabs Out | Brin – Microdose Skyline

Brin – Microdose Skyline

10.12.20 by Matty McPherson

I wish more artists would utilize the EP format for just two simple reasons. Firstly, it allows for an idea to be suggested and tempered with, without ever being dulled or nulled by it staying around. Secondly (and more selfishly), it is immensely easier for me to review because I can listen to one side and then hear the exact same thing on the other side. What a concept! 

Brin’s (aka Colin Blanton) Microdose Skyline is a big objective win for my two points. The Los Angeles-based bedroom sample alchemist (and percussionist) has been seen cooking up reliable singles, sets, and tapes/tape art over at Leaving Records. With a full-length debut, Homescreen Glow, to be released later this year on Leaving, it felt like a worthy opportunity to check back in with the Microdose Skyline tape dropped on Brin’s personal Bandcamp page back in March. At four tracks clocking in around fifteen minutes, the tape never harbors a dull moment, breezing through a delirious take on New Age, just glitchier and more internet indebted than its counterparts.

Fidelity ain’t the emphasis of the tape. Brin gleefully refers to the tracks as “nofi visions” and the second you plop the tape into the Walkman and hear the dazzling 8-bit party freakout of “Reach”, you know you’ve hit the ground running. Just barely cracking the two-minute range, “Reach”’s  ever-shifting pulses and a plethora of samples enable more left-turn surprises than anticipated. Yet, guided by a drum beat with the impact of an underwater missile, Brin is on an impulsive groove. 

Can this groove be chilled? It’s terminally chill. “Majestic Cranes Fly Higher” pulls out the chills from a post-midnight subway ride directly into the speaker, “Know” utilizes chopped vocal blips with trancey synths for its own late-night public access subterranean. Both feature drum machines that keep their own fleet-footed manner, while bubbling with an undercurrent of digital anxiety. They are the tracks I would expect to be left on at the minecraft rave that’s been overrun by some sort of block monster. That anxiety all washes away on the final track, the dreamweaving “Microdose Skyline”. The simplest track on the album, its pedal loops are a cleansing breeze you can ride to the end of time, or until the crystal store closes at least. It’s the one track on the album that takes a full deep breath and ends the tape on a stable note, outside of this time loop.

Edition of 100 directly from the Brin Man himself

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