Posts Tagged With: Labradford

Sketch For Winter II: Rue Corridor – Pan•American

Former Labradford musician Mark Nelson, working under the moniker of Pan•American, offers up a new EP release ‘Sketch For Winter II: Rue Corridor’. The new release continues a string of release from Geographic North, the Sketch For Winter series. Nelson’s latest release sees the musician straying away from the ambient/post-rock elements of his previous releases, in favor of techno and minimal dub formats. The new techniques expand upon Nelson’s previous releases, showing more sides to his musical talents. There’s some interesting elements to ‘Sketch For Winter II: Rue Corridor’, though there seems to be less warmth and comfort than on previous releases.

Nelson’s latest releases feels like a more radical step up from his previous albums, many of which explored ambient notions, with elements of gentle post-rock thrown into the mix. ‘Sketch For Winter II: Rue Corridor’ seems to abandon much of these subtleties. There’s some enjoyable elements to the music, most of which see the musician employing the same level of patience and care as explored on his previous releases. Much of the release offers up a cold ideal, which works well for the release, giving it good context. Although it’s interesting seeing Nelson explore different areas of music, it is perhaps a shame that there’s less of the warm techniques used on previous releases, which results in ‘Sketch For Winter II: Rue Corridor’ coming across as a more inaccessible and arguably less enjoyable release from the musician.

Even though the release doesn’t come across as Nelson’s best release under the Pan•American moniker, there is still many enjoyable elements. Those open to Nelson’s experimentation will find ‘Sketch For Winter II: Rue Corridor’ to actually be one of the musicians most interesting releases thus far, and one that showcases more talents and more ideas that we may not have been able to see before. Those expecting another ambient driven album, similar to some of Nelson’s releases on Kranky, will find ‘Sketch For Winter II: Rue Corridor’ to be a disappointing release, though those willing to accept new ideas and new methods will find much to enjoy on this new release.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★☆☆  3/5

Selected Songs:

  • The Terrace
  • Pascal

Pan•American’s latest release ‘Sketch For Winter II: Rue Corridor’ is out now and available on cassette through Geographic North.

Categories: EPs, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anjou – Anjou

13 years after the departure of Labradford, following on from the release of the gorgeous post-rock effort ‘Fixed::Context’, and following on from a string of independent releases under many different names and monikers, members Mark Nelson & Robert Donne team up once again to form their latest project Anjou. Combining their forces with Pan•American’s Steven Hess (A group started by Mark Nelson), the trio have created an incredible listening experience, combining together the analogue, the digital and the live. Those expecting something remotely like Labradford might be disappointed with this effort, but those open to a wholly new and creative project from some of Post-rocks most inventive musicians will find ‘Anjou’ a very special musical experience.

‘Anjou’ certainly departs from the post-rock elements established by Labradford, and even the ambient-post-rock elements pushed forward by Pan•American. Instead, we’re offered an incredible barrage of static and noise that forms the music taking place. At first, it’s a little intimidating and scary, though one can easily surrender to the noise and find themselves at peace. There’s structure and music taking place in each of the tracks, which form incredible soundscapes unlike anything we’ve heard from these incredibly creative musicians. At first, analogue and digital elements take a very firm hold of the album, dominating the experience before giving way to guitars, bass and drums, somewhat hidden behind the layers being created by the band. It results in an incredible listening experience that conjures up a great number of images.

Anjou certainly establish what could be described as inaccessible music from the moment the album begins. There’s an odd element to whats being presented by the band, and it can take a while to get ones head around this new project. Many of the strengths of the album seem somewhat hidden, and a little bit hard to get a hold of when one listens to the album itself. The beauty of the music might not appear so easily, though once it does, it’s easy to get into the music, and understand what Anjou are hoping to create and present with their debut album effort. This isn’t scary and unsettling music, but rather beautiful music for those accepting of the challenging.

There’s a highly challenging element to Anjou’s debut album effort, though it is one that is highly rewarding to those willing to allow the music to simply take a-hold. Nelson, Donne & Hess all put their creative forces together in a wonderfully collaborative way, resulting in something that draws upon their already existing years of collaborative efforts, and pushes forward something new and exciting. It is perhaps a musical experience that is somewhat hard to classify in any specific genre, but this is perhaps one of the points the album is making. It’s not Labradford, and it’s not Pan•American, but it’s equally as creative and equally as exciting, just simply within a different context.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★★ 5/5

Selected Songs:

  • Lamptest
  • Sighting
  • Readings
  • Backsight

Anjou’s debut album ‘Anjou’ is out now.

Categories: 5-Star Reviews, Albums, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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