Premiere: Brian Case – “Pattern 1”
For those that know Chicago-based guitarist Brian Case’s work well — he’s been recording for years — his turn into more strictly minimalist composition on his debut solo longer-player Tense Nature is probably not entirely surprising. Plenty of his work elsewhere tends to showcase a distinct sensibility and a clear awareness of space in a mix, though it might be his Bambi Kino Duo with EVI synth-player Justin Walter that best forecasts the atmospherics of his latest. In that vein, it should be taken as more than a little indicative that one of the lead singles from Tense Nature, the one I’m pleased to share today, is simply called “Pattern 1.” It’s track 8 of 12, and most of its neighbors rely on a more mechanical and less melodic sort of repetition, despite the provocative curl of consciousness that tugs Case’s sampled audio into one or another mental register. The overall impression is of a series of mechanical fugues, “built around the idea of tape loops or lock[ed] grooves.” “Pattern 1” then, is a sort of red herring, built out of a loop that still encompasses a conventional beat-form. To that extent Tense Nature is a true “ambient” album, as described, though it can be a mesmerizing thing to truly contemplate.