Covering unknown sonic territory with Pan American. Sketch for Winter II: Rue Corridor is the new offering from the alter ego of Mark Nelson (formerly of La Bradford). This release is an expanse of various synth layers, spanning an assortment of frequencies, timbres and textures. Building intensity through out with harmonies forming and slowly fluttering away, this will warm you up on a winters evening. Out on cassette tape from Geographic North.
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- Sketch for Winter II: Rue Corridor by Pan American
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When people decide to make music for the seasons, various cliches tend to creep in. The warm, major ecstasy of summer gives way to the sombre melancholy of autumn, moving into winter, with its thin bleak iciness. From the opener of Pan American’s newest tape, it seems that Mark Nelson has skirted around these obvious pits, but not after swinging down below to take a look.
I haven’t heard Labradford so I’ll be thin on the references. What I can say is that this is some excellent ambient which was unfortunately too blurry for poor Clinton who passed this one on to me. The blur in question begins with ‘The Terrace’, a tumultuous rumbling drone peppered with some tiny blip synth and hi hat arpeggios providing something quite reminiscent of the icy cliches of yore, but actually giving off quite a warm feeling. It’s like just coming indoors from a blizzard, its roar still audible through the closed door while shivers run all across your withered skin.
Nelson seems to be a fan of kooky synth sequences, as the title track opening side B proves. Some weird ass modular synth loops away towards electronic doom to the sound of a stretched out atonal fanfare, forming an altogether disconcerting whole. The chords shimmer and waver darkly until the glorious distortion of ‘Pasqual’ creeps in playing a suitably sombre cadence with some muted high frequency bite. This one is perhaps the most obvious embodiment of that ‘snowy wastes’ timbre, despite how much I’m enjoying the noise. I’m not sure if this is just a psychological trick, but it seems that distorted material sounds amazing on tape, both intensifying and warming it at the same time. A nice ambient release as a whole, which mostly does well to avoid the obvious cliches of the context.
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