Pan.American White Bird Release

When Mark Nelson was splitting his time between Labradford and Pan.American (then a solo side-project), the division line was between the warm analog/cool electronics of the two respective outputs. After Labradford's demise, and most notably with Pan.American's 2004 release, Quiet City, the line blurred, creating a hybrid that drew even more extensively on acoustic instruments via multiple guest players. On White Bird Release, Nelson turns yet again, revisiting elements like the whispered vocals that haunted Labradford's earliest work and found-object recordings reminiscent of the band's early-to-mid-period. What's especially new here is the trust that the stillness of tracks like "Is A Problem To Occupy Generations" is enough to carry the listener along with only a generator hum of keyboards. The steadfast propulsion that is a Pan.American trademark returns on "How Much Progress One Makes," the title of which (as with all the others) is a fraction of a line from a 1932 letter to H.G. Wells concerning "the thrill of just beginning." Nelson proves that multiple paths may lead to the same destination but the scenery along the way can be very different. (Kranky)