Multi-talented producer Brainiac [The Archive] has been featured on our site a handful of times and in his latest effort, he presents a full-length project entitled Bitter Work. The 9-track Body of work is anchored on the concept of balancing a music career with a 9 to 5. The tracks are built on samples cleared through the Tracklib platform and it’s a showcase of ingenuity by the producer who goes for an unorthodox approach to beat-making.


The project is heralded by “Labor_Pains_”, a laidback and moody track crafted with stuttering but punchy drums and a haunting vocal sample that loops throughout the track. This is followed by “I Wish_” with its moody textures, dreamy samples and a singular vocal sample that appears every 4 bars. Next is “Anemic_Symptoms”, which continues in a similar vein apart from its scattershot hi-hat arrangement and head-nodding groove underpinned by a soulful sample chop. I must add, that the first three songs we have have a common thread, anchored on solemnity and a whole lot of reflection.


“Barely_Making_it” starts with an obscure melodic vocal sample before the drums emerge. The groove has a slight humanistic touch and the offbeat feel makes it stand out. The vocal sample is used sparingly here and offers a counterbalance to the moodiness of the overall sound. “3:32AM” has a slightly glitchy and off-centre bounce and minimal use of vocal samples with haunting textures and sparse bass notes which all culminate into a feeling of despair and sadness.


The aptly titled “I Feel_Exhausted” oozes a slight trepidation and the use of lethargic drum grooves, discordant bassline riff and fuzzy samples add an emotional depth to it.“Bitter Work_” also lives up to its name and paints a picture of a worker in an automated job, doing the same things all over and over. The sombre sample is prevalent and oozes pure nostalgia and a bit of sadness as well. The last two tracks “Big Debt_Small Checks_” and “It Is_What_It Is” explore the end product of life and work. We all have to engage in meaningful work to pay the bills while trying to find our true purpose in life beyond the workplace. The former has a rich bass guitar pluck and discordant sample riffs while the latter uses neatly chopped vocal samples, thick basslines and a head-snapping drum groove to hit the mark.


Overall Bitter Work, packs a punch with its intense moodiness and well-structured storytelling that takes the audience through the dilemma of an artist trying to find his footing in this unforgiving world. The project also benefits from being short in length by giving listeners a quick glimpse into each section of the story without being repetitive.





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