Lee Bannon – Pattern Of Excel (2015) [Bleep FLAC 24bit/44,1kHz]

Lee Bannon – Pattern Of Excel (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 40:08 minutes | 415 MB | Genre: Electro
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Bleep | Artwork: Front cover | © Ninja Tune

Pattern of Excel is the new and (according to a recent post by the artist himself) last album from Lee Bannon. After coming to prominence with his early production for Joey Bada and Souls Of Mischief, the one common thread in his work is his refusal to stay still. Every release is a progression from the last as his 2014 Ninja Tune debut ‘Alternate/Ending’ proved, taking in influences from jungle, Aphex Twin and the beats scene to create a highly acclaimed album. This time around he’s shifted styles once again, drawing influences from ambient and drone resulting in an album that explores some of the further reaches of leftfield music without ever settling fully in one place. This is an album that improves with each listen, drawing you into it’s unique soundscape and revealing new depths each time.

Since emerging as an underground hip-hop producer in the late 2000s, Lee Bannon has made a career of confounding expectations. His Ninja Tune debut, Alternate/Endings, found him all but abandoning hip-hop, instead crafting a love letter to the ’90s output of jungle labels like Reinforced and Metalheadz. Late 2014 EP Main/Flex continued Bannon’s infatuation with jungle, but added post-dubstep/garage elements à la Burial. Pattern of Excel, Bannon’s second Ninja Tune full-length, is another total left-field shift, this time forgoing beats almost entirely, entering the realm of ambient/drone. The album concentrates on the bizarre sonic manipulations that were always present in Bannon’s work, but this time they’re divorced from hip-hop or drum’n’bass rhythms, creating free-flowing passages that don’t always suggest structured songs. The detached sounds, distorted elements, and non-musical sounds (such as voices, footsteps, typewriters, and trains/subways) are woven throughout fragile melodies and atmospheres reminiscent of Vangelis’ gentler, less bombastic moments. Bannon’s sample manipulations sometimes suggest the post-modern data barrage of Oneohtrix Point Never circa R Plus Seven, or perhaps a less hyperactive Holly Herndon, and the album additionally brings to mind Leaving Records’ more outré, genre-vaporizing artists such as D/P/I and Ahnnu. The album’s most stunning moment is “Aga,” which has a terror-filled synth melody and tense bass-heavy beat, coming close to the darker end of the Tri Angle roster, particularly the Haxan Cloak or Forest Swords. “Inflatable” curiously appears to be a re-edit of Autechre’s iconic “Second Bad Vilbel,” cutting up the track’s caustic beats and white-noise bursts, and adding some fidgety electronic buzzes. “Memory 6” comes close to arriving at a U.K. garage-inspired beat but stops at just the hi-hats, ticking around shifting textures, strings, and static. Other tracks consist of dreamlike collages of clicking and rumbling sounds, drizzling static, and ominous, distorted piano draped with lush, foggy synth tones. Unpredictable and ruthlessly abstract, Pattern of Excel is possibly the most avant-garde release in Ninja Tune’s long history, and may seem like a stark departure from Lee Bannon’s earlier works, but it’s really just a continuation of his tendency to follow his fearlessly creative spirit into uncharted territory. ~ Paul Simpson

01 – Good / Swimmer
02 – Artificial Stasis
03 – dx2
04 – Suffer Gene
05 – refoah
06 – Shallowness is the root of all evil
07 – Paofex
08 – kanu
09 – Aga
10 – inflatable
11 – DAW in the Sky for Pigs
12 – Disneµ Girls
13 – SDM
14 – Memory 6
15 – Towels