The late 2000’s welcomed a boom in progressive electronic music that mostly bypasses the titanic influence of the English acid house scene of the late 80’s back to the rippling arpeggiation and oceanic washes of kosmische musik. From Emeralds’ Does it Look Like I’m Here? to Mohave Triangles’s Smoked Mystics, there is so much unexpected variety in the textures you can discover when you take the plunge into this vaguely interconnected movement. One of the key figures in this fascinating unfolding is Seattle’s Norm Chambers, also known as Panabrite.
My favorite album of Chambers’s is Infinite Pulsation, which came out in spring of 2011. The manifesto of the album is summed perfectly by the song title “Clean Lines”– like Jon Brooks (of The Advisory Circle), Chambers shows just as much intelligence for crafting melodic lines as for interlacing vividly beautiful synth timbres. The melodic sensibility on this album stylistically connects it with Cluster’s Zuckerzeit and Sowiesoso…I suppose you could say that this kind of stuff is the ultimate soundtrack for driving down a beautiful back-road. The textures are warm, bright, and have a playful lilt to them…they make me happy in a way that is hard to describe because the feeling is definitely one of being suspended in one’s own little world for a brief window of time. An album like Infinite Pulsation blurs the barriers between the pleasures of the heart and those of the mind.
For my Portland readers: I hope that you will be able to make it down to Doug Fir tonight at 8, where Panabrite will be opening for the utterly un-classifiable virtuoso of post-rock Sam Prekop, along with fellow kosmische architect, my show-buddy Pulse Emitter. You will not want to miss this one…all three of these guys have new albums out (respectively Disintegrating Landscape, The Republic (an instrumental album on which Prekop tackles modular synthesis, which explains the lineup tonight, if you were scratching your head), and Digital Rainforest). See you there!