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The Big Takeover #80 Spring 2017
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Album Premiere: Total Squaresville by Pattern Language

Chris Frain - Pattern Language
13 June 2017

Pattern Language; Photo Credit: Chris Sessions

Just last week, we premiered the new single from Denver outfit A Shoreline Dream – and now today we present you another artist from just down the road in Boulder, Colorado, albeit of a completely different genre.

With six tracks on offer in his debut release, Total Squaresville, Pattern Language gives us electronic delights with tasty elements ranging from Art of Noise, AIR, and Kraftwerk to Jean Michel-Jarre and the Motorik bliss experience that is Stereolab. This is a truly eclectic smorgasboard of fantastic analogue synth gems. All instrumental, these songs quickly resonate, especially “Le Choc Des Etoiles” and its accompanying video, centered around retro footage of crystal and glass design elements from yester-year.

Pattern Language is the solo project of Chris Frain, previously the keyboard player for indie pop band The Giranimals (where he developed a love for the staple sounds of the Minimoog and Melotron instruments) and bassist for the power-prog rock trio Tanuki. In 2013, Frain decided to pursue a solo electronic music career after a chance viewing of the BBC4 documentary Synth Britannia, which made him fall back in love with the sound of the synthesizer.

“Each one of the pieces on this album were started from some very basic idea about sound or structure or primary influence, and yet I was surpirsed by all the twists and turns they took through the stages of composition, recording, and mixing,” says Frain. “It’s still fun to listen to each piece and how they took on a life of its own to become something new and unexpected, even to me.”

Apart from sounding similar to krautrock legends like Kraftwerk, Cluster, Harmonia, and La Dusseldorf, the tracks found on Total Squaresville were influenced by the music of Frain’s childhood, including The Art of Noise, Eurythmics, Thomas Dolby, and the 1980s iteration of King Crimson. Particularly noteworthy is the use of pre-Roland 808 sounds for the drum machine parts, placing this version of synthwave closer to the late 1970s than the mid-to-late 1980s sound currently dominating this sub-genre.

Total Squaresville releases this Friday, June 16th, via London’s Happy Robots Records and is finally available on Bandcamp

Catch the two chic videos released in support of this release for “Le Choc Des Etoiles” and “By Time We Get There”, created by Cheyene Grow of 75 Ohms.

PATTERN LANGUAGE / CHRIS FRAIN
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Happy Robots Records
Chris Frain Bandcamp
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