If you’re a fan of any early ambient/new age or The Album Leaf, you’ve come to the right place. Seattle based musician Norm Chambers, with the release ofÂ Pavilion, marks his first for the Chicago labelÂ Immune.Â Pavilion is something that can blend with nature.Â Pavilion is made for the sunrises you can see when you’re submersed in a forest after a glorious hike. You can hear the Seattle rain pouringÂ down from the beginning, perhaps on the glass panes that act as the ceiling to the biosphere (or mall… let’s just go with biosphere) you see on the sublime cover. Panabrite gives youÂ theÂ much needed aural ammoÂ to your adventures with nature and just for when you doze off contemplating your own life with Pavilion. He’s opened the gate to his private world and he wants you to step on in. Check out PavilionÂ via theÂ Bandcamp player below and see what you think of it. Cheers!
Over the last four years, Seattle synthesist Panabrite (aka Norm Chambers) has become one of Americaâ€™s most prolific and proficient creators of transcendent electronic music. Although under-appreciated in his own city, Chambers has been gaining fans and critical respect worldwide with a torrent of releases that evoke the prime work of ambient musicâ€™s pioneers, the top tier of kosmische-musik makers, and the more mystical end of the new-age spectrum. He is a disciplined student of a wide range of cerebral genres, weaving elements from these styles into his own distinctive tapestries, balancing melodic playfulness with compositional rigor.
As noted, Chambers is an ardent explorer of great, underground music and itâ€™s demonstrated on Pavilion as â€śa love letter to some Italian albums from the classic â€™70s era of minimalism and prog,â€ť such as Lovisoni/Messinaâ€™s Prati Bagnati Del Monte Analogo, Franco Battiatoâ€™s Clic, Claudio Rocchiâ€™s Suoni Di Frontiera, and American-to-Rome transplant Alvin Curranâ€™s Canti E Vedute Del Giardino Magnetico. Chambers praises their â€śfreewheeling studio experimentalism crossed with the most elegant, stunning (non)ambient music.â€ť He strove for a similar feeling in Pavilion by playing 90 percent of everything by hand and opting for minimal use of sequencers.
Pavilion marks what Chambers calls a slightly â€śdarker and tenserâ€ť offering in the Panabrite pantheon. He says itâ€™s â€śa bookend piece to my 2012 album The Baroque Atrium, in that it deals with certain concepts and ideas of mind-space; an account of a place and time and of the experience while there.â€ť The album begins with rain patter (Chambers does live in Seattle, after all) and keyboards that trigger thoughts of flower petals slowly opening and feelings of wonder and great expectation. This is Panabrite in his most traditional new-age mode, but gradually the mood darkens as he coaxes out a melody of grand despondency. Things turn even more foreboding on â€śArcade,â€ť with its warped vocal blending into pensive, mobile-like Rhodes piano, whose beautiful bell tones smear and drone Ă la Brian Enoâ€™s The Shutov Assembly. The effect is like being enveloped in swirling stardust in a church tower. â€śMemoryâ€ť elaborates on â€śArcade,â€ť its contemplative ascending synth chords sounding like a monastic ringtone. With timbres akin to those on Spiritualizedâ€™s Pure Phase Tones For DJs, â€śArcadeâ€ť exudes a swarming menace.
Chambers cites â€śRegentâ€ť as his favorite track on Pavilion, describing it as â€śthe epic struggle, the lay of the land before or after a devastating occurrence, yet with a pervasive optimism pushing up from the din.â€ť Alternately urgent and melancholy, â€śRegentâ€ť decelerates into an agonizingly poignant cosmic theme in the vein of Ashra or Harald Grosskopf. Another highlight is â€śBalsam,â€ť which combines looped acoustic guitar with a delicate xylophone motif, and synthetic birdsong. The song carries the same sense of beatific calm and graceful ascension as previous guitar-enhanced Panabrite titles like â€śJanusâ€ť and â€śSuite (For Winnie And Roxy).â€ť Fans of Gastr Del Sol and Mountains should take note.
Pavilionâ€™s last three pieces - â€śPool,â€ť the title track, and â€śQuartzâ€ť - reflect Chambersâ€™ increasing compositional prowess, his ability to wring maximal emotion through minimalist gestures. This concluding trilogy leads you back to land with a ceremonial majesty and balletic poise.
- Maybe Buy
- Not My Style
- Too Expensive