Brightest Solids is the debut EP from Brad “Lobisomem” Loving, a DJ and experimental electronic music producer who’s recently lugged all of his stuff from Chicago to Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood, at least for now. These six tracks offer a glimpse of his forthcoming 2010 full-length, but there are more indications of what is to come under the Lobisomem moniker at Bird & Whale. It’s a website that Loving developed in order to share DJ mixes from friends and contemporaries; the Bird & Whale sets under Loving’s name showcase audible interests that stretch from acoustic Congolese musicians Kékélé to rocksteady pioneer Alton Ellis to Four Tet. Indeed, just as critical to understanding where Brad Loving is coming from is looking at the places he’s been — Japan, Mali, and Brazil, to name a few. (The latter of which is probably where he picked up his stage name, a word far more ominous-sounding than “werewolf”, its English counterpart.) Loving has been around the globe, and Brightest Solids shifts just as frequently.
Brad Loving exhibits a knack for sound composition on Brightest, but he rarely gets comfortable enough to stick with a streamlined trajectory. For the early morning hours or a potential set opener, “Church River Graffiti Knife” is at first somewhat motionless. It’s a symphonic meeting point for multiple drones and bleeps that churn and disintegrate, but eventually resurface to roll overtop lumbering, glitchy beats. The crunching percussion disturbs an otherwise mesmerizing mood here; Loving’s “Teresa” is a sublime, more compelling example of what this guy can do with fizzing analogs and understated drums. On the techno-leaning “Dhegiha Group”, he gets it right with micro-sized melodies built of Moog tones and tightly clipped snares. In what appears to be a tribute to North American Indians, Loving blends fascinating pieces for “Dhegiha” — scattershot, hand drum-mimicking beats are tucked under glassy synths for an entry that aptly identifies the producer as both curious and careful, two traits he should definitely hold onto, even if the trajectory gets old.