Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cyclic Defrost Magazine

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Vowels – Pattern Prism (Loaf/Inertia)

Posted: 15 Nov 2009 04:08 AM PST

A two minute blast of non-sequiter free drumming, guitar feedback and synthesised bleeps, like an orchestra tuning up before the symphony, and then we’re off. ‘Two Wires’ then does all the pulsing, droning and driving of classic Krautrock, and does it very well. Melodies are added by an arsenal of cheap and classic sounding synths. Beautiful.

Pattern Prism uses the opening two tracks to set up the parameters to be followed by Vowels – James Rutledge (ex-Pedro) and Chris Walmsley (Voice Of The Seven Woods, ex-Broadcast) – over the course of the disc. Stabs of noisy interjections and drum thuggery between wonderfully articulated motorik. The free improvisations are the less intoxicating of the two diverse styles. Bound too closely to regular rock meter, even if broken up and stuttering, the high speed cymbal and skin skittles never settle into mesmerising repetition nor, conversely, into complete abstract exploration, instead wading an indistinct middle ground. This is a minor criticism, though. When the abstraction is pushed to a farther limit, such as in the distort-drone ‘Swim Pool’, or the rhythmic pulse is pushed to repetitive trance-induction, such as in ‘On Up!’ or ‘Closing Circles’, the foundations give the improvised bleeps a firm context in which to hold attention.

Pattern Prism is basically a drum and synth duo album, but the ground covered by the two is diverse and always rewarding. Add to that some fine artwork from the ever reliable Non-Format and it makes for a complete package giving a good snapshot of one particular brand of contemporary musical cross-pollination between aspects of dance, noise and improv.

Adrian Elmer

Vowels – Pattern Prism (Loaf/Inertia) is a post from: Cyclic Defrost Magazine.