In just five years, Bratten has established himself as a mercurial and uncompromising figure in modern-day electronics. After earning a reputation as a serious performer with a dark, cavalier side through his live shows and DJ sets on the European club scene, Bratten moved from the center of Oslo to the suburbs. The change of scenery had a positive effect on every aspect of his life, allowing him to focus on his young family and studio work. It took him a year to build his new studio in his garden, and then another year to patch all the hardware together again and relearn his music-making process. The first tracks to emerge from his suburban base surfaced last year on Smalltown Supersound as a series of three 12-inches. These are lush, driving funk cuts swaddled in curdled synthesis that find Bratten exploring a new way to conjure the spirit of the acts he loved in his early teens: Boards of Canada, Autechre, and the late Drexciya producer James Stinson’s The Other People Placeand Transllusion projects.
Pax Americana presents three of the series’ softer tracks, alongside three new numbers which add a shade of menace to the record. Following his debut LP Be a Man You Ant released on Oslo label Full Pupp and his previous Smalltown Supersound releases “Math Ilium Ion” EP and Gode, Pax Americana presents Bratten using a pragmatic approach. He deliberately produced these track in an old-fashioned, analogue fashion, restricting himself to an 808, an old sequencer, a reel-to-reel tape and a vintage mixer that once belonged to ABBA in the 1980s. Bratten bought the desk from a rockabilly musician in Norway who’d acquired it from a Swedish TV station. Describing the bubblebath boogie of Pax Americana, he says: “I was trying to make a steady dance record without being swooshy. When I started listening to techno as a kid there wasn’t this melodic stuff, so the record is more of a vibe, a feeling.”
Across a handful of sketches, Bratten has sketched out an enchanted vision of the world – a kind of psychedelic dystopia – as he seeks to fuel his lifelong obsession with sound. “I’ve always been fascinated by how a sound can make you feel, without being something you can touch,” he says. “I’ve always been more interested in sounds than music.”