Skip to main content
A Magazine for

The Manchester edition of Now Then is no longer publishing content. Visit the Sheffield edition.

Branches EP

On his new EP, Branches, Manchester’s very own Frameworks, aka Matthew Brewer, treats us to a symphony of warm, comforting, downtempo beats. Although bearing a resemblance to the likes of Bonobo, this is by no means a mere spinoff trading on the popularity of the man from Brighton. Instead it’s something different, and fresh enough to catch the ears of Emancipator, whose Loci Records label has released it and whom he supported at Mint Lounge back in 2013.

The titular track is bursting with sound, and although there’s a lot going on it still manages to retain a certain delicacy. It gradually builds towards its peak, tricking you by prematurely plateauing twice before beginning the climb again with more feeling behind it. The melodic, structured composition of the song is reminiscent of Kiasmos and BadBadNotGood, and is as suited to the dancefloor as it is to chilling out at home with a couple of drinks.

For me, the best is saved until last. ‘The Passenger’ incorporates a smart horn section alongside shimmering chimes and the more usual beats and snaps, elevating the track to a funkier plane, further diversifying it from the norm and showing that Frameworks isn’t a one trick pony. But more importantly it proves once more that creativity in Manchester’s music scene isn’t dead.