- 12" Vinyl Record
- Released: 2018
- Label: Negentropy
- Catalog: NGYLP1
- Genre: House, Downtempo, Hip-Hop
- LP Reissue
Brawther, AKA Alexandre Gouyette, is known for making warm, classic-sounding deep house that nods to his US heroes. His first record under that alias was released in 2009 on Balance Alliance, a result of him linking up with Chez Damier on MySpace. Untitledcontained one of his early, career-defining tracks: "Endless (Ultra Deep Mix)," a hypnotic cut filled with lush pads and understated drums. It remains a smooth and unshowy example of the French producer's craft. (He's since released five more EPs and a retrospective LP on Balance.) One of his most sought-after records, 2010's Vol. 1—made under a then-secret alias, Paris Underground Trax—successfully mined '90s house and garage for inspiration, as did 2011's Do It Yourself. The records he's made since haven't strayed too far from these sounds.
Gouyette's second studio album, Transient States, signals a change of approach. "The desire to make the album on my own label"—Negentropy—"gave me the time to work towards a body of music where I could experiment with complete and utter freedom," he has said of the LP. Aside from a couple downtempo cuts, though, Transient States is Brawther doing Brawther. The tracks here will sounds familiar—and somewhat obvious—to fans of his sound. Gouyette grew up admiring artists like St Germain and Pépé Bradock—artists with house music roots, but influenced by jazz, hip-hop, dub and other styles. You can hear that same curiosity, however tentatively, across Transient States.
Gouyette's experiments with non-house styles here are solid, but don't venture too far out from his core sound. "Flow" is spaced-out ambient dub that sounds like it could go on forever, but decomposes after just a few minutes. On "Theme From The Dungeon," he toys with St Germain-style instrumentation on a hip-hop beat that recalls early Nightmares On Wax. But the track's deviations, which amount to some horn lines and hip-hop scratches, suggest little of the freedom with which he apparently made Transient States. It still sounds like a house album. Fans of what Gouyette does won't be disappointed, but others may wonder whether he was capable of more.