Brainworks – [Dirty Bird]

The ever-brewing trends of faux-futurism and new-millennium styles and attitudes alike have come to a telling peak throughout this very year. These aesthetic-based approaches that call back to what the future was meant to look like in the late-1990s to the early-2000s have returned in something of a new light, crossing any and all mediums and allowing artists who were influenced by this period in time to flaunt their talents in an all-too-respected manner. 


Whether it’s their one-to-one graphic and typeface design work under the Gum pseudonym, or their equally homage-paying ventures into the worlds of house, trance, and other electronica offshoots in the music world under the name Dirty Bird, the work they have put into as far as translating this period into the modern-day landscape is absolutely remarkable in every sense of the word. 


Their latest project under the Dirty Bird name is entitled Brainworks, and it conclusively serves as the most telling culmination of exactly what makes these aforementioned claims ring so true in regards to what they stand for and their overall artistic status in this light. 


This project is a wholly mind-bending and all-encompassing foray into all things electronica in regards to its place in the new millennium. Each given track does its part in displaying at the very least one signature facet of what this specifically stylized period of music meant back in its hay day, and still means to this day — all wrapped up in a brief, yet fully resounding package. 


The house-based aspects arguably make themselves the clearest throughout the project on tracks like It Doesn’t Matter” with its saxophone-latent passages, and the addictive “Domin8r” in its subdued vocal samples and the like. Both of these tracks – and really even the entire project as a collective unit – borrow quite frequently form the worlds of lounge and plunderphonics alike, making for an experience that is just as grooving as it is submerging and heavily weighted in its sound. 


Of course the laid back demeanor that this project does indeed hold very closely throughout its entirety isn’t without its more lively offerings, as the respective tracks “New Drug” and “Freak Out” work to keep the energy up in their respective spots in the tracklisting, which does nothing else but act as the final integral piece to an already dynamic puzzle. 


Brainworks is 2020’s most defining piece of contemporary electronica in this particular form, and there truly isn’t even any competition other than – as hyperbolic as it sounds – the other outstanding work put in by Dirty Bird throughout this year. In a music landscape that is driving further and further towards the essence of a wide-ranging millennium-centric methodology, the music of Dirty Bird is serving as its prelude now, and more than likely its official soundtrack once its apex is inevitably reached in the mainstream.