Released by experimental UK/Berlin label Slip Discs, Brittle Love is the debut album of Joe Snape, a composer working with electronics, found objects and light installations. Released digitally and in a limited print run alongside an acetate/card poster and interview tape with the composer, it is the latest offering from a label establishing itself as a key player in a nascent scene that intertwines elements of electronic music and the avant-garde.
Coming in at 22 minutes, the record is succinct, presenting playful yet bittersweet tracks described as ‘unsung love songs’. Flirting with familiar tropes of pop and electronic music, Brittle Love creates collages from synthesisers, drum machines and simple harmonies, for example in the 80s New Wave stylings of lead track ‘Yesterday’s Bread Was So Much Better’.
However, the music continually flutters between pop and the avant-garde. Filled with snatched, unfulfilled melodies, tracks such as ‘Brittle Love’ are delicate and still in the process of becoming songs. Haunting acoustics and electronic manipulations fragment the music into tender and eclectic soundscapes. At times, it drifts into general ambience, and avant-garde fans may wish for a rougher, harder edge, but Brittle Love’s ‘almost’ songs are wholly enchanting and deeply thoughtful.
Originally published on Sinfini Music.