Panabrite inserts his colored peg and illuminates with Soft Terminal (or, his name reminds me of that one toy I had as a child)

Panabrite inserts his colored peg and illuminates with Soft Terminal (or, his name reminds me of that one toy I had as a child)

Without spending too much time invoking the work of an artist whose name in acronym form is “OPN,” it’s extremely refreshing to come across any musician who readily embraces the synth, instead of masking its sound with an excessive number of patches or through the utilization of additional instruments. This isn’t to say that bands who incorporate the synthesizer are necessarily deserving of scorn for doing the latter — just that they’d be totally more worthy of a listen if members decided to relinquish their guitars, drum kits, violins, didgeridoos, etc., and grab a vintage ARP 2600 or Korg MS-20 instead. You know New Order? As powerfully seductive as Bernard Sumner’s vocals and Peter Hook’s bass-lines were/are, I frankly would’ve been fine had they decided to go all-synth. Okay, that’s a complete lie, and the majority of this paragraph has been a serious exercise in hyperbole, but I stand by my initial point — the organic sound of a synthesizer is a beautiful thing, and unfortunately, we’ve strayed from the infatuation that we, as a culture, had for it during the 1970s and 80s.

For his part, Panabrite a.k.a. Noah Chambers is apparently one of the few that we can count on to lead a resurgence of all that synthy deliciousness. After numerous cassette releases and a recent 12-inch on Aguirre, he released his first “proper” LP, Soft Terminal on March 1 via Digitalis. A press release notes, “Some will be quick to chalk Soft Terminal up as another ‘synth record,’ but that’s just the surface dressing. There is something deeper and much more complex happening here. Vivid, liquid dreams are sculpted into intricate fantasy landscapes, each layer revealing what a wizard Chambers is.” So on and so forth. Short of suggesting that Chambers has magical powers, I will say that what I’ve sampled of his work is quite immersive. Oh yes, Panabrite, take me on a journey via cloud to a time when pubic hair was unkempt, and computers were room-sized…

• Panabrite: http://panabritesounds.blogspot.com
• Digitalis: http://www.foxydigitalis.com

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