Patkus – Nigel’s Brie (Album Review)

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You may have read my review of Philadelphia-based minimalist musician Mike Patkus’ The Gospel Book Of Archbishop Ebbo back in January.

Nigel’s Brie is his full-length follow-up, which was released back in April on Bandcamp. I want to make some kind of British/cheese related joke (you know, like a video of Nigel Thornberry rocking out to some Gary Glitter, oh-how-PC-of-me-to-even-mention-that-man) but that is the complete opposite of what’s going on here so I’ll try and stay serious.

Patkus describes Nigel’s Brie as ‘winter music’, in his words, ‘[an] attempt to capture that feeling of vastness and calm that accompanies a winter landscape’, conjuring up ‘thoughts of growth and decay, gradual change, patience, and new beginnings’.  It’s a fitting synopsis. The pieces on the album flow seamlessly from one to the next and would be absolutely at home soundtracking images of empty, snow-covered landscapes or whitewashed, bitterly cold European winter mornings.

Musically speaking, Nigel’s Brie is closer to more conventional film music than its predecessor, trading the that record’s intermittent jazzy flourishes and Niandra Lades back masked feedback for airy, fingerpicked runs, buried, verbed-out ambient synth sounds and in a few places, what seems to be a barely discernible drum machine.

Best tracks: the almost-danceable ‘We Were Looking For Bears They Were Searching For Narcotics’ is pretty nice, as is the album’s moody moment, ‘Sedgewick’. Have you ever seen The Great Escape? Sedgwick is the fake Australian prisoner’s name. I’m not sure how or why I remember that. That’s probably not relevant.

If you’re into: Sigur Ros but you can’t stand whatever their made-up language is called.

Stream and download Nigel’s Brie here: http://patkus.bandcamp.com/album/nigels-brie

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