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Todd Brozman has arrived, under his Proud Creature moniker, with an EP dripping in groove and mystique. Opening Creature was crafted in his home studio using a blend of DIY field recordings and a variety of synths and percussion instruments, resulting in tense and magnetic atmospheres with serious character.
“[The] Opening Creature EP reflects travels and explorations I’ve had over the past few years,” says Brozman.
“I’m trying to capture the headspace that opens when we venture out of our default mindset and into something broader and more abstract. For me, these spaces have been explored through travel, dreams, nature, and spiritual exploration.”
Kicking off the release is ‘Major Trouble’, which features chill, slowly evolving synth-based sounds that progressively dominate the acoustic landscape. Things hit a dramatic peak following the total introduction of the drums, all glued together by the firm harmonic support of the bassline.
Following this, the more psychedelically experimental ‘Discovery of the Future’ takes the helm, placing an emphasis on the space in between the notes to create emotion. The movement of the piece rests on futuristic notes that glow, but more chaotic and dark oscillating effects rounding out the texture. An undercurrent drumbeat supports this, facilitating its growth into the surreal atmospheres that appear.
Next up is ‘The Rookery’, beginning with rising brassy synth tones complemented by otherworldly keys. This track has the same level of spatial awareness as its predecessor, but the improvisational synth work is more unique. There is an almost jazzy air to his approach.
Deep and foreboding bass tones channel through on ‘Pines’. Ornamentation is prominent here, recalling pipes and bells, but there are also scratchy samples, mingling into a beautiful abstract mess. The chaos becomes united under a guiding rhythm as the piece progresses, harking back to a more conventional form of structure.
Last up is the solemn ‘Eastern Lines’. Resigned and peaceful, it’s a fitting way to close the EP. Proud Creature makes use of some echoing voices, over drawn-out atmospheres, to create a meditative vibe. It feels more transitional rather than notable as a standalone piece, making it the weakest of the lot.
Opening Creatures is a work by a studious and patient artist. It has all the hallmarks of an ambient record done right (layering, production, development, and atmosphere). Proud Creature certainly has a concrete understanding of the power of space—the key to creating brilliant works in this genre.