Though the album takes cues from classic post-punk, it's not as direct as you might guess from, say, his Pulse Radio mix last year. Instead, he seems to have imploded those influences, sending little bits careening in every direction throughout The Bedroom Slant. Pronsato and his partners feel their way through the songs, as if they were rough guidelines rather than compositions. Every so often he catches a groove before letting it dissipate back into the ether, while his yelpy, intentionally off-key vocals alternate between catchy phrases and awkward grasps at melody.
At times there are hooks ("To Be Seen," "Momentum Of The Farce"), at others the structure is less discernible (the dreamy live recording "LA Teen," which features strong double bass work from Yonatan Levi). But Pronsato makes both extremes work for him. He has a way of eking out earworms from little details, like the birdsong in "Julia," the flutes in "The Future Kiss," or sometimes even just a single drum hit. His approach works best on "Steal The Groom," a clammy groove that sounds like mid-'70s David Bowie, except the bleating horns and taut drums feel like they're gradually wobbling off the path. This one has more presence and drive than other tracks on the LP, such as "You In Sin," which feels too dissolute for its own good.
That sense of dissolution is at once the most enticing and most frustrating quality of Pronsato's music, and that hasn't changed even with the new project. Instead of a more song-based format, Archangel offers a different sound palette for Pronsato to mash and dice the same way he did with techno on wonderful records like The Make Up The Break Up. The Bedroom Slant may lack the sure-footedness of his past albums, but it offers a glimpse of the future now that Pronsato has essentially mastered his minimal house sound. As a step into uncharted territory, The Bedroom Slant is understandably shaky, but it still sounds like Bruno Pronsato through-and-through—and that alone means it's worth hearing.
Fri / 18 Jul 2014
01. Half-Man Half-Lisa
02. To Be Seen
04. Come Undone
05. You In Sin
06. L.A. Teen (Live) feat. Yonatan Levi & David A. Powers
07. Momentum Of The Farce
08. The Future Kiss
09. Steal The Groom feat. Peter Gordon & Randy Jones AKA Caro
10. High Alarm