Colonial Patterns, the debut full-length album from electronic music stalwart Huerco S., captures a wide-eyed artist learning the tools of their trade before mercurial ascendence. This ten year anniversary, double LP edition arrives on bone color vinyl in an ultra limited pressing of 1000 copies.
Colonial Patterns has drawn many comparisons to Basic Channel. After all, both the native Kansan’s debut album on the Software label and the work of the legendary German duo share a fondness for recordings that sound equally muddy and metallic. They really know how to get the most out of that murk, playing for ghostly absence and overwhelming physical presence in one fell swoop. But when did Basic Channel ever channel anything as freighted with historical significance as colonialism, as heavy as Native-American genocide? Referencing something of real-world consequence doesn’t necessarily make for more consequential music, and the Ernestus–von Oswald catalog is in no danger of a coup from the currently New York–based Huerco S. But the comparison downplays this album’s uniqueness. This is body music in a distinctly different form, superficial similarities aside. According to interviews, the album grew out of Huerco S.’ fascination with the mound-building cultures that originally inhabited the region he grew up in. It’s heavy stuff, literally and conceptually, but it functions just fine without pretentions. Colonial Patterns does indeed sound and feel like—to paraphrase the artist himself—digging holes and filling them back in. It’s a work of and inspired by ritualized labor, haunted by the irretrievable loss of a culture.
|Struck With Deer Lungs
|Plucked From The Ground, Towards The Sun
|Anagramme Of My Love
|Ragtime U.S.A. [Warning]
|Monks Mound [Arcology]