A 25-song album of instrumental electronic synth, funk, ambient, techno, rock, pop, and disco…what could possibly go wrong? Los Angeles-based KS presents Puta’s Brew, an electronic melting pot of a bunch of different genres. Fuelled by drum machines and synthesizers, the album must surely be the equivalent of what happens when an A.I robot climaxes during a good software update. As longwinded as the experience is, there is definitely a lot to pull out of this one.
Right off the rip, “Minor Euphoria” hits you with everything that this album is about; swooshing synths that make you feel like you’re in an underground disco in Berlin in the 80s, trap-rap or trip-hop or hopscotch drums that hold the groove, and of course a face melting guitar solo that appears seemingly out of nowhere (which is definitely played by some ’80s-looking motherfucker with big hair). Boom, you’re in. Buckle up, because it’s a long-ass ride.
“Bouncy Memory” throws you for a bit of a ride out in left field. This track is more dialled back, has some tasty piano sprinkled over top, and gives off some Tame Impala Currents vibes. The guitar solo in it may also remind you of the loop-wizardry of Tash Sultana. Two songs in, these vibes are very fresh and welcome.
“Gnome” brings some mean bass and drums groove to the table. It sounds like the nastiest rap flow could hop in at any second. Alas, the decision was made to slap some xylophone on top of the beat instead. Needless to say, the unpredictability here plays a role in keeping this album flowing. However, the approach starts to lose its magic midway through the haul, and you may start to feel like you’re hearing the same synths and the same beats over and over again. There is a lack of dynamic in tones and in the music, which makes it hard to get through the entire album in one sitting (unless you’re tripping out, and in that case have other things going on upstairs).
There are still some fresh gems that pop through the mix. “Bubbling Under” is a smooth and wide flow. Along with “Dark,” it feels more open and a bit less busy than a lot of the other tracks. The two songs help break the monotony of the album’s style, serving as much needed changes in dynamic. Unfortunately, these songs are buried in a deep track list.
Things do pick up in the final quarter of the album, with more upbeat tracks like “Funketeando” bringing some pep back into the step. “Footstomp” also brings a nasty groove to the table and is probably my favourite track of the album. The greasy octave-down riff is accompanied by some very cool horn parts that make for a few moments of mega-boogie. I’m not a fan of the xylophones again on this one, but the guitar parts make a lot more sense this time around and add some cool colours to the jam.
It would be insane to try and comb through every track on this song in one review. It’s almost just as insane to try and sit down to listen to it front-to-back without some kind of extra stimulus. That being said, from funk, to pop, to rock, to techno, KS gets a handful of everything and throws it into this electronic synth machine. Plug in to the motherboard and see what you get off on.
Written by Ben Cornel
*edited by Kate Erickson