October 22, 2007

Pan American

For waiting, for chasing

Following on from the magnificent 'Quiet City' album for Kranky (to this day one of the biggest selling titles on Boomkat), Mark Nelson finally returns with a new album under the Pan American moniker - and it's another triumph of sublime understatement. "For Waiting, For Chasing" is underpinned by delicately caressed and manipulated Flugelhorns, Tibetan Singing Bowls and Chinese Cymbals, processed, weaved and loved into a throbbing mass of neon loveliness. Opening 'Love Song' unfolds with a gentle cacophony of whirrs - like crickets trapped in a jar - juxtaposed with the most ethereal layers of ambience tripping over each other to create a cloud of harmony; this is absolutely classic Pan American territory. Nelson never confines his music to simple ambience, moulding in noisier elements which work as a counterpoint to the warm tones of the Tibetan Singing Bowls and synthesized whisps - a conceit which manages to keep his work ever-contemporary when so many of his past peers have been stuck in an endless loop of repetition. A work of calming restraint, it's really impossible to fault this musician and his ability, with this album, to craft another perfectly-formed microcosm of bliss. Essential purchase.

Quiet City

Quiet City is the fourth album from Mark Nelson's Pan�American project and combines the computer-centric approach of The River Made No Sound with the organic instrumentation that marked Nelson's work in Labradford and the first two Pan�American albums. Three of the eight tracks were recorded with Charles Kim (Sinister Luck Ensemble) and feature upright bass, drums, trumpet and flugelhorn. �Nelson even sings a bit. �The rippling electronics and muffled beats of the first three Pan�American albums are still there; distended into elegiac, resonant, wavering, and ambient song craft. �The CD edition of Quiet City comes with a DVD that contains a video essay shot and edited by Mark Nelson and Chicago visual artist Annie Feldmeier.

As Bob Baker Fish noted "Pan�American's forte is in the studio, crafting together all manner of disparate sounds with a patience and eclecticism rarely sighted in contemporary electronica." Pan�American has released singles and contributed to compilations on labels across the world, done remix work for artists like PSI Performer and Kid 606, collaborated with the artist Thomas Demand and toured with Radian and Low. ��He has a release coming up on the brand new Mosz label as well. �The full-length video that accompanies the album is a visual meditation on the theme of the quiet city; suitable for focussed viewing or accompanying everyday activity —�an ambient video if it helps to think of it as that.

Mark Nelson: �Electronics, guitar, voice and mix
with Charles Kim: upright bass, tracks 4 and 5
Tim Mulvenna (Vandermark 5, Jeb Bishop): drums, 4 and 5
Steven Hess (Hat Melter, Bosco & Jorge, Aluminum Group): drums, 7
David Max Crawford (Poi Dog Pondering, Wilco, Stereolab): trumpet on 5, flugehorn on 7


Like what you hear, buy it! And support the artists that really need it.


The Gosub Routine said...

The files are dodgy.
They are tagged as 'mpc', and they do not play.
I have tried to change them from mpc to mp3, but that doesn't work either.

Any ideas?


maxime said...

Sorry but work for me?
use Musepack

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