For nearly a decade, Milton Bradley has trudged through the darkest corners of German techno. Bradley was born and raised in Berlin, and said in an interview with XLR8R that he uses the city and its constantly evolving landscape as the primary inspiration for his productions. Bradley certainly paints a harrowing and overcast portrait of the German capital, and mecca of techno music. But on his new album Tragedy Of Truth, Bradley sews seeds of hope under even the bleakest sounds crawling out of his studio.
The album arrives on April 25 via Bradley's own record label Do Not Resist The Beat!, which he founded in 2008 as an outlet for his own productions. Bradley also released several EPs on Munich-based dark and dub techno imprint Prologue, explored the potential of acid techno through his Alien Rain alias, and imagined dystopian and industrial sounds through his project The End Of All Existence. Just last year he had his track "Assembled" featured on the excellent MDR Compilation for Marcel Dettmann's eponymous record label. Now on his first LP, Bradley culls all corners of his brooding aesthetic together, weaving elements of acid, dub and drone seamlessly into a nightmarish vision of his city.
THUMP got a chance to catch up with Bradley over email about his new LP, and ask about the possibility of hope buried deep inside his murky productions. Check out an exclusive stream of the dubby and crackling stand-out track from the album, "Poisoned By Sweet Things" below.
THUMP: You've been releasing music for a while now, but this is your first LP release. How did you approach constructing this album differently than your past releases?
Milton Bradley:As I always try to express certain feelings with my music, trying to say something, to make a statement; and music per se is one of my biggest desires—the idea behind the album is to show different facets of my desire, how I experience it. And this idea is to be presented by a broad spread of the Milton Bradley sound how you got to know from all past Do Not Resist The Beat! releases. Everything needs to be connected.
The album takes advantage of a very dark sound palette, but also seems to suggest a type of hope that one can find in this darkness, especially in the closing track "The End Is Not Always Just An End Sometimes It Is Also A New Beginning." Is there a positive message hidden here under these murky sonic layers?
I think there should always be hope! What sense would it make to go further and further without hope? No matter how hopeless a situation shows itself after you look for the first time, the experience you gained under those circumstances can be an essential building block in your personal development. If you think like that, mistakes and situations in which you failed and which occur to be hopeless can be the beginning of something completely new.
Influences of acid and "dystopian" dub techno are all over this release, sounds that you're very familiar with. Who are some of the producers that have most influenced you to explore these styles in your production?
I can't claim that certain artists had a certain and direct influence on me. If it comes to dark aesthetics, it is more about my state of mind which I try to reflect; feelings that I want to give space in my musical expression. I'm mostly inspired my situations, personal experiences, sound in connection with their heritage and surrounding. The visual expression was always strongly connected to music and sounds as there are pictures and colors showing up in my head while playing these sounds. That's how I produce music, mirroring these pictures in my head and expressing myself in this way.
What are you looking forward to most in 2016?
Amongst several selected remixes the next release will be another The End Of All Existence release during summer, another Alien Rain release is scheduled for end of 2016.
Jesse is THUMP's intern. Follow him on Twitter