It verges on cliché to say that an artist communicates through his or her work, but in particular cases of valued privacy, that figurative “speech” becomes the unaccompanied default for self-revelation. Patten’s use of the various social networking sites might indicate a personal openness lending toward verbal interaction, but the impression fades at immediate glance of his actual Twitter page. His Facebook page has a similarly automated feel. Is there a human behind this? Do robots exist, and are they subtly suggesting the audible/musical keys to an increased quality of life?
Obviously, let’s ignore the rationale. What’s interesting is the extension of deliberate obscurity into patten’s artistic persona. His previous and upcoming albums are adorned with abstract covers designed by Jane Eastlight, and the names of the albums are capitalized unintelligibly. More to the point, the music masks without seeming unfocused, incorporating “interlocking instrumentals” (to borrow an apt phrase from the press release) and putting the onus on the listener to appreciate the, perhaps, subjective patterns. Notes momentarily forgotten or subconsciously acknowledged reemerge with a smile. Wonderful stuff, from what I’ve heard so far. Bring on the heterogeneous shroud!
ESTOILE NAIANT comes out February 25, fittingly, on Warp.
ESTOILE NAIANT tracklisting:
01. Gold arc
02. Here always
04. Winter strobing
08. Key embedded