- As the second release from BNJMN's Brack label, Chromed confirms this once-delicate producer's newfound fixation on the darkest ends of the techno spectrum. Everything sounds choked in thick smoke and glazed with oil, from the steamroller bassline in "Rattled" to the omnipresent hiss obscuring "Broil"'s percussion smears. But for all his stylistic flair, BNJMN never quite homes in on a particular aesthetic outside of "noisy" and "analog." Chromed points to a deep appreciation for blackened techno and a knowledge of its inner workings, even as it has trouble sussing out exactly what to do with that perspective.
There's a noticeable connection between what BNJMN is doing with his Brack releases and labels like Werkdiscs or Modern Love. The spectral, synthy "Sallow" could sit among Actress's more straightforward dance floor material, and industrial-strength stompers "Chromed" and "Rattled" play like a missing entry in Demdike Stare's Testpressing series. Somewhere in between, "Broil" whirls through a haze of white noise, flailing its asynchronous drum sequences in endless circles. While each track is useful—in so much that BNJMN built them with depth and decent, DJ-friendly structures—little else holds the attention after Chromed's atmosphere loses its mystique. The record couldn't necessarily be called a step down from the better-defined BRACK001, but you could say it's a step back.