Now that he’s gone, I can hear bits of Mike Huckaby in so many records now — even ones that have been out for years but whose lineage was never apparent. It isn’t necessarily the sound (though it is also the sound). It’s that sure touch, the way nothing feels out of place and nothing feels decorative, there’s no extravagance added because it “sounds nice” or because someone else used that same synth plug-in for a Top 100 hit a few weeks ago.
Brad P’s Plant Life EP for Inner Shift fits this austere blueprint and in a lot of ways it’s worthy of its inspiration. There is a tension and restraint to tracks like “Expansion,” a warm but crystal-clear track with gorgeous, flowing synths that sound less like music than a coded language. Brad, whose most recent record was a split with another master of restraint, Vincent Floyd on Chubby’s latest V/A record, colors his tracks with a rush of warmth, aided by hazy atmospheric keys (“Star Traveller”) or a shimmering liquid life force (“Machine Logic”) or a sophistication that’s hard not to fall in love with (“Sun Garden”.)
Brad P: Plant Life EP (Innershift / 12″ Vinyl / November 2020)
A1. Brad P: “Expansion” (7:04)
A2. Brad P: “Star Traveller” (6:44)
B1. Brad P: “Machine Logic” (7:51)
B2. Brad P: “Sun Garden” (5:33)