Modular pop experimentalists Pattern is Movement will release their first album in six years on Tuesday. The self-titled record, which you can stream in advance here, will be released via Hometapes and is an absolute must for anybody even remotely interested in music challenging structure and textural boundaries. After have spent a few hours with it, I’m inclined to say that, not only is it their finest hour, but in many ways some of this year’s most exploring and inventive music. It’s almost impossible to fully grip all that is going on, and the duo’s citing of OutKast, Sprinsgteen, Drake and Werner Herzog as influences makes, if not audibly sense, than certainly sense in spirit and feel.
The songs on the album explore so many styles and directions that it becomes almost impossible to untangle, yet without almost any of the songs losing sight of control or focus. Highlights include first single “River”, an absolutely magnetic piece of music that stands out in its intense drum play and kinetic synth action. It draws you in as the albums most accessible moment, but it’s the unpredictable nature of Pattern Is Movement that will keep you coming back. The heavily auto-tuned Justin-Vernon-goes-to-the-carnival of “Suckling” is one of these unexpected moments that is, not only highly memorable, but also endlessly entertaining.
It takes resourcefulness and skills to make an album like this, and while Andrew Thiboldeaux and Chris Ward certainly shown both these traits on previous albums, all their talents are magnified and brought to the front in whole new ways on here.