Release Date: Sep 24, 2013
Record label: Software
Genre(s): Electronic, Club/Dance
From the Taj Mahal’s piedra dura to the vacant hallways of Bush House, the curves, crevices, and balustrades of buildings hold power to inspire the most sublime compositions. The creative connection is multifaceted, where music conversely inspires architecture and specific sites evoke memories, passions, and emotional responses associated with recorded sound. The variation of possibilities that emerge from the first instance are exceptionally fascinating, where anthropocentric history clutters designed space to assume a hauntological disposition — a subjective rendering of past lives that have used bedrooms, abattoirs, and prayer rooms alike with distinctive purpose — versus components that separately trigger a number of artistic forms through their physical appearance.
Colonial Patterns is a fine album title, suggesting so much yet giving little away. Read it one way and it's an allusion to the arrogance that nations are doomed to repeat. Glance again and it conjures up the lines that such behavior razes, replaces, and retraces on the land. Both readings reverberate throughout Kansas City producer Brian Leeds’ debut album as Huerco S.
It speaks to the speed of Brian Leeds' development that by the time The Guardian heard of "outsider house" he'd long since left the reductive descriptor behind. While that term might have applied to earlier releases like Aphelia's Theme on Future Times or R.E.G.A.L.I.A for Anthony Naples' Proibito label (as Royal Crown Of Sweden), the Kansas native's first full-length has very little to do with house music on the surface. Sure, there is often a 4/4 pulse and there are even recognizable, semi-danceable drum beats, but Colonial Patterns skews a lot closer to ambient sound collage than anything you're likely to hear in a club.The album's overall mood is drowsy and tempos are suitably slow.
Having recently been lumped in with the newfangled, controversial "outsider house" genre by the British music press, you may be surprised to discover that the debut album by Huerco S. (aka American musician Brian Leeds) is mostly a full-length of lo-fi synths and sample-heavy, deep techno. Granted, there are some definite house tropes, as demonstrated by tracks such as "'Skug Commune" and the boogie-infused "Ragtime U.S.A.
How many EDM superstars from the Midwest can you name? You’ll be scratching your head for some time trying to think of more than a handful; as a region, it’s not exactly at the forefront of the United States’ recent mainstream fascination with all things electronic. That could be why Huerco S (aka Brian Leeds) has moved out of Kansas City to New York, where there’s more of a chance that he’ll find an audience for particular his brand of techno. In order to best describe Colonial Patterns, his first LP, it seems like a good idea to skip to the end.
When asked in an interview what he expected from dance music in the future, producer Brian Leeds said he’d like to see “a move towards all encompassing ancient techniques and alien sounds, always moving forward. ” There’s a revealing slippage in his reply, between the obscured past and the unknowable future – between the “ancient” and the “alien”. Colonial Patterns, Leeds’ debut album, fixates on the pre-colonial civilizations of the producer’s native Midwest, and the moment of European contact that would alter them irreparably.