I’m spreading the word about a new release Total Squareseville by my good friend Chris Frain (aka Pattern Language). Chris has been a regular contributor to the electronic music scene in Boulder and Denver since he moved to Denver a few years back, and a regular at the Rocky Mountain Synthesizer Meetup where he’s presented and performed. He also made the list of “Twelve of Colorado’s Greatest Synthesizer Artists” by Westword Magazine.
It’s a fantastic release and Chris is getting some well-deserved buzz so give it a listen and consider a buy to support the art. Here is some coverage as noted by his label the UK-based Happy Robot Records
Highlights of coverage for ‘Total Squaresville’ includes radio play from Steve Lamacq and Gideon Coe on BBC 6Music, spins on Resonance FM, on Artefaktor Radio thanks to Rusty Egan plus with significant play on other stations with the album charting on college stations in the States. The record has also had some great reviews and features from the likes of Spill Magazine, Overblown Magazine, The Electricity Club, The Joy of Violent Movement and Westword Magazine.
Here are a few videos in support of the release. This first one is my favorite track off the album.
Pattern Language is the new project of Chris Frain who debuts on Happy Robots Records with the “Total Squaresville” mini-album.
Based in Boulder, Colorado, Chris dabbled in indie-pop and prog-rock bands until a chance viewing of the BBC4 documentary, “Synth Britannia” that lead to his falling back in love with his first love, the sound of the synthesizer.
The six instrumental tracks on ‘Total Squaresville’, as well as being inspired by the likes of Kraftwerk, Cluster, Harmonia, La Dusseldorf, also draw heavily on influences from Chris’ childhood, including The Art of Noise, Eurythmics, Thomas Dolby, and the 1980s iteration of King Crimson. Of particular note is the use of pre-Roland 808 sounds for the drum machine parts, placing this version of synthwave closer to the late 1970s than the mid-to-late 1980s sound. Not only does this release feature simple, infectious melodies and motorik-beat rhythms, but with its splatering of Melotron strings and and bongo-heavy percussion. While almost unheard of in popular electronic music, “The Castellers” glides along in 3/4 waltz time replete with flamenco hand-claps. Electro and space disco-inspired “A Pattern Language,” along the moody minimalist piece “Deeply Recessed Windows,” round out the tracklist on this debut release.
‘Total Squaresville’ follows two brilliant remixes that Chris produced for Rodney Cromwell, the remix of Baby Robot was described by Louder Than War as “Replete with keyboard accompaniments that could easily be by John Carpenter…one of the stand out tracks of the EP.” ‘Total Squaresville’ is the ninth release on Happy Robots Records.