A lot has been said about Huerco S.’s strain of syrupy, ambient techno, much of it in the form of a conceptual statement from the artist himself. Brian Leeds, a Kansas City resident, has explained in interviews how the impetus for the album came from his fascination with the largely white-washed history of pre-Columbian American civilization that stretched from Mesoamerica up through the Midwest U.S. His approach to discussing the album sits on the intersection of historical intrigue and mysticism. There’s something very Shining-esque about Leeds’ account of channeling a displaced and forgotten native culture through vinyl crackle and tape delay. Just like the impossible architecture of The Overlook Hotel, Colonial Patterns presents us with a series of sonic anomalies. It generates a constantly ephemeral moment between groove and ambience, soothing and unsettling, and organic and synthetic.
As these dualities tug on the subconscious, the layers of texture that emerge from soft focus tend to vary from one listening to the next. There’s a chance you’ll be soothed by the moment in “Quivira” when the sizzling synth lead wafts into the mix, or perhaps you’ll be caught off guard by the ominous wash prowling in the background. Leeds has explained the architecture of his songs as deriving from his research into the mound habitations of the pre-Columbian Americans. The culminating musical features of this concept, dense loop construction and constant volume pans, end up creating more of a pulsing breathing organismic universe. In “Plucked From the Ground, Towards the Sun” the sub echoes an unmistakable heartbeat, and in “Anagramme of My Love” the dusty needle grain clicks like voltage passing through a neuron. With or without this hidden anthropological meaning, his focus on approach and process has led to the discovery a musical form that provokes a heightened sense of awareness.
Order it from Software Records.