Where much of his past work was rooted in the dance floor, Bratten has different aims for his sophomore album. The music is said to have been inspired in part by Brian Eno, 20th century composers Giacinto Scelsi and Arvo Pärt, and the Norwegian ambient luminary Biosphere. Thematically, Gode is intended as "a meditation on the darker days of Norway's past," particularly the injustices endured by the rural working class of the early 1900s. This lends Gode a somber tone, which Bratten reflects with new sonic textures. "Bivouac" introduces tape-warbled strings in its closing moments. They reappear on "Ins." and are stretched across glitchy, mechanical rhythms on "Iconography." The latter track's downtrodden piano also seeps into much of Gode. Bratten brings a vocal collaborator onto "Cascade Of Events," floating layers of Norwegian pop singer Susanne Sundfør over a half-tempo beat and searing, intertwined synth drones.
Gode spends much of its time in dark and foreboding territory, but it really succeeds in the quieter moments. Songs like "Quiet Earth," "Bivouac" and "Space Between Left & Right" put Bratten's exceptional sound design on full display, as he weaves sparse, poignant melodies into morphing rhythmic patterns and dense atmospheres. Gode's explorations don't always land perfectly: the eeriness of "Cascade Of Events" and "Iconography" feels clichéd, verging on B-movie horror soundtracks. But for a record that's a far cry from its predecessors, it's encouraging that some of the most unexpected material is also the best.