Like nailing jelly (or jello for those transatlantic readers) to a wall or attempting to build a house from hummus, the fourth outing and self-titled release by Pattern Is Movement bears little in the tangible hallmark department. The twosome made up by Andrew Thiboldeaux (who contributes everything except the drums to PIM) and Chris Ward (yes, you guessed it, he’s the drummer) forge the type of sound akin to hearing a whisper through a wall or the murmurings of conversations you can’t quite fathom. The duo’s audio output is loose mesh of piano, electronics, potent drumming and vocals that verge on the James Blake/Justin Vernon axis of melancholy.
In the shape of their eponymous release, the sonic tapestry of ‘Pattern Is Movement’ couldn’t feel more threadbare, it could almost be collection of 10 demos as the album smacks of something undecidedly undercooked. If it’s not Thiboldeaux hushed vocals that are inaudible instead of full bodied, the audio alchemists add a questionable dose of autotune to the mix of tracks making any vocal attributes untenable. The beats delivered by Ward are steadfast, however their rampant nature at times jars against the anaemic seas of electronics and wayward piano lines. ‘Pattern Is Movement’ whiffs of two men, attempting to create pop-friendly R ‘n’ B for the hipster crowd; it’s a record for the Pitchfork snobs that love to say how much they adore pop music whilst swilling down a soy-latte or a gluten free muffin.
There are some horn led flourishes and the occasional embellishment of strings that pluck Thiboldeaux and Ward’s fourth helping of tunes out of the doldrums but on the whole for anyone searching for Bon Iver at their most insipid or James Blake aiming for nonchalant and sedate, you’ll be all over this record like a beige rash.
To paraphrase Moe Syslak, everyone’s favourite, sleazy barman, ‘Pattern Is Movement’ is ever so ‘postmodern’ or ‘weird for the sake of being weird’. One would presume approaching with irony would be advantageous.