Second Bite: Craig Bratley – Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride
"I've just remembered I wrote this Craig Bratley album review but failed to do anything with it… is there anything you could do with it?"
Having just been sent the previous statement from Mr Boorman, we've decided to let him off and give this album a review, albeit a little later than you might expect. Here's what he thought about the album, after he'd had a second bite;
Craig Bratley has been one of my favourite producers ever since 'Birdshell' was caned by all and sundry two or three years ago, but despite this, I was slightly nervous when the album promo landed in my inbox. It was like when Frank Bruno put down Mike Tyson in the first round – you'd rooted for Frank up to that point knowing he had something about him, but you were nervous about what would happen next when the stakes got higher.
Thankfully, Bratley dispelled any fear of 'well I could have just heard all this on an EP – why bother with an album?' by busting out the insane and relentless 'Dance With A Mannequin' as his first tune (after a 2 minute intro). This is exactly what I want from an album… something a bit out there that isn't just a dancefloor DJ tool.
80bpm, acid bass line, Roland-esque anologue percussion all over the shop and an eccentric rap on top of it. Good fucking lad.
And if nothing else, when I decided to drop this in my last DJ set, it inspired me to go off on a Kruder & Dorfmeister-D & B tangent in what was meant to be a sedate disco warmup set for Greg Wilson. "Bratley made me do it" is what I would have said if questioned, but luckily the sheer hassle of rigging up a reel-to-reel tape machine and two additional mixers in the dark seemed to be occupying most of his attention.
While it is true that there are two or three instances in the album where the tracks are no different to Bratley's staple-EP offering ('Birdshell' is on there for example), the album does still stack up as an album. There are enough wildcards to make it work. As you would hope from a man with his Cosmic Disco pedigree, there are gay synths aplenty, but there is a quite sinister edge to a lot of it, like 'My Obsession' for example.
Bratley's composition style is very simple – you're not going to be blown away by crazy melodies – but for me it is still the melodies that get you – it's that nagging repetition that just keeps pecking away. Anyone who enjoys getting locked into the groove of an Andy Weatherall DJ set on a dark, sweaty dancefloor will totally buy into it, and thanks to this album, they'll be able to get off on it in the comfort of their own home.
'Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride' is out now and has been for some time.