Nov 2023 03

Album CoverMaduro
Album: Pretty Cages
Category: Darkwave / EBM
Label: Re:Mission Entertainment
Release Date: 2023-04-18
Author: Wil Cifer (WCifer)


As a veteran producer of dark electronic who has been on compilations with the likes of :Wumpscut: and Miss Kitten and created remixes for HEALTH and Violent Vickie, Dave Buracker has an impressive resume. Pretty Cages is his full-length debut for Re:Mission Entertainment under the moniker of Maduro, where his strength as a songwriter can be heard in dense fuzzed-out angular synth grooves that drive this album. While the synths are the centerpiece of these songs, monotone spoken vocals serve as the album’s primary narrative voice, with Buracker’s voice taking on an Ian Curtis-like cadence at his most emotive. The success of his vocal performance relies on how the effects are applied in post-production. Unlike most pop music, the vocals do not require the spotlight in the mix, becoming another sonic texture. Despite the samples of erotic moans drifting under the synths of “Ecstasy,” the android-like nature of the overall sound paints a picture so mechanical that it fails to invoke sexuality, no matter how hard the beat tries to bang. Pretty Cages often dares the listener to dance to its odd-time signatures, such as in “When the Fire Stops,” which is propelled by a static pulse as the robots of a future past narrate the proceedings. More often than not, mood compensates for this album’s lack of dynamics. “Nuclear Attack” serves as an example of this, as it feels like it was intended for a soundtrack to an indie horror movie, going for a retro feel. The most effective chorus can be found on “Mystery Guest,” in which the vocal accents provide the album’s most effective display of injecting humanity into the melodies. A subtle hook comes to life on “Take Pills” when Buracker arranges the sounds in a more hypnotic manner through overt repetition. Forward-thinking DJs could easily fit the bulk of Pretty Cages into their sets, while electronic music fans looking for a retro-minded oddity will find plenty to embrace on this album. It stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the artist’s previous efforts, presenting a logical creative step forward and a further refinement of the sounds fans expect from a Maduro album.
Track list:

  1. When We Were Dreams
  2. Mysterious (To Me)
  3. Die As One
  4. Ecstasy
  5. When the Fire Stops
  6. Bound to Nothing
  7. Nuclear Attack [Floor Edit]
  8. Far Away
  9. Mystery Guest
  10. Take Pills
  11. Cuts Me Deep
  12. Still Ill Acid

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