In a seemingly endless flow of GAN animation, artist Birk Nygaard guides us through a constantly shifting procession of painterly digital imagery, making visible the atmospheric kosmische of producer André Bratten.
On Picture Music producer André Bratten eschews the darker elements of his previous releases to delve deeper into the cosmic textures he has explored throughout his career. Focusing less on genre than on mood, Picture Music sees the musician combining paired back strings, plaintive keys, gauzy synthesis and delicate fragments of field recording to creates the most melodic and transcendent sounds of his career. Leaning into the atmospheric kosmische Bratten has tapped into for Picture Music, artist Birk Nygaard employs GAN animation to bring the album’s 13 tracks to life, creating a seemingly endless flow of continually shifting imagery. Heavenly vistas marked with glinting cliff faces and towering nude worshippers melt into pastoral idylls populated with geodesic domes and elderly couples. Alien landscapes pocked with emerald cities and ancient monoliths morph into radioactive trees beset with bioluminescent spores.
As we are brought deeper into the painted world of Picture Music, the album’s escapist tendencies become fully realised. Recorded during the isolation of multiple lockdowns and inspired in part by a reappraisal of what constitutes ‘normal life, as well as the birth of his second child, Picture Music is designed to conjure illustrated worlds to slip into, an effect brought to surreal life by Nygaard. Impossible figures inhabit impossible places, speculative creatures perch upon speculative shapes, eerie in their algorithmic plausibility. As the album closes out with the reverb-heavy piano of ‘Evening’, the scene resolves into an image much closer to home, a shady woodland strewn with wild flowers, a poignant rural coda in counterpoint to a sprawling cosmic dream.
Picture Music is out now, on Smalltown Supersound. You can find André Bratten on Instagram and Bandcamp. For more information about Birk Nygaard and his work, you can find him on Instagram and visit his website.