Having recently been lumped in with the newfangled, controversial "outsider house" genre by the British music press, you may be surprised to discover that the debut album by Huerco S. (aka American musician Brian Leeds) is mostly a full-length of lo-fi synths and sample-heavy, deep techno. Granted, there are some definite house tropes, as demonstrated by tracks such as "'Skug Commune" and the boogie-infused "Ragtime U.S.A. (Warning)," while penultimate number "Chun-Kee Player" has far more in common with the glacial soundscapes of Tim Hecker. Released on Daniel Lopatin's Software Recording label, Colonial Patterns starts off with woozy, metaphysical ambience that wouldn't be out of place on another NYC label: Ezekiel Honig's Anticipate imprint. Several minutes in, it morphs into a darker form, delivering the same emotional punch as acts from the UK's burgeoning noosewave scene — think Raime, Haxan Cloak, Andy Stott and Demdike Stare as reference points — or, at times, a less-polished version of Dino Sabatini's Shaman's Path. The arrangements are minimal and nebulous, relying on tone and texture to carry the album. Calling tracks such as "Anagramme of My Love," with the bone-scraping sound of what could be a record's run-out groove, "sinister" is somewhat understating the case. Unsettling and compelling in equal measure, Colonial Patterns is an album that not only requires repeat listens for it to slowly get under your skin, but one that leaves you little choice but to let it do so, like a sore tooth you just can't stop fiddling with.
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