Featuring six ventures into realms of suggestion and experiment, Amateur Radio is the latest album from US outfit, Pas Musique. Each predominantly instrumental piece is a tapestry of electronic enterprise and examination, tracks which sparked the imagination with ever evolving results while provoking an ever changing array of interpretations and most of all undiluted pleasure. With a just as enthralling cover of a Faust classic within its body too, Amateur Radio is one of those compelling adventures into the unknown.
Brooklyn-based Pas Musique began in 1995 as a solo project for Robert L. Pepper, over time growing into a collective now also consisting of Jon V Worthley, Michael Durek, and Jesse Fairbairn. Across a host of releases the project has bred a sound which has constantly merged the abstract with a raw seduction of temptation. It is a proposition which as suggested earlier has provided as much of an enjoyably evocative challenge as a captivation but has persistently caught the imagination with Amateur Radio maybe the most potent adventure to be heard yet.
With its body experimental krautrock-influenced and electronically dissonant yet melodically clamorous, Amateur Radio immediately ignited the senses with opener Charlies Lament. Its entrance is controlled and relatively calm but swiftly showing the aberrant prowess of the band’s songwriting and composing. In no time it becomes a web of intrigue and anomalous enterprise, rhythms a predacious magnet within swaying veils of textures and electronic intimation. The repetitive lures of the track equally prove compelling; under the skin like a rapacious rash but a welcome itch beneath the atonal pleasure.
Don Cheadle Superhero follows, it too a radiantly clamorous affair springing from a weave of restraint though that opening reserve instantly hints of more tempestuous aspects. Its build to and eruption of that cyclonic trespass is a fusion of harassment and seduction, the former prevailing as the creative winds of the band invade and haunt with dextrous tumult.
Pas Musique’s version of the Faust track, It’s a Rainy Day Sunshine Girl, is next and features a collaboration with Jeanne-Marie Varain, artist and daughter of the German band’s Jean-Herve Peron. Unsurprisingly Pepper and co draw on the off-kilter design of the original, electronic rhythms a nagging pulse to which layers of crystaline and shadowy intimation emerge. A slice of disparate pop with a post punk dowry of crepuscular temptation, the track effortlessly enthralled.
It was probably Ancient Scottish Legend which sparked the most intrigue for us towards Amateur Radio, its single release a striking involvement and invitation and within the album still proving a major moment of persuasion. Almost tribal in its character and scenic in its suggestion, the instrumental seems to merge tradition and legend with a more dystopian reflection of the now though as we said, and for all tracks, interpretation is individual and ever evolving. Thoughts pulled out pagan and industrial inference from its psych twisting landscape, its films of nagging infectious drone and rhythmic pulsation alone addictively manipulative as dense layers of electronic discord and suggestion crowded above.
That’s What They Said provides a respite from the intensity with its melodic serenade though it too unsurprisingly builds its temptation through a skin of divergent imagination and melodic deviancy. Ultimately though, it is also an electro pop song at heart, an infectious squall of sound with an underlying composure that flirts with sublime contagiousness even as the winds above become more erratic.
The album is closed out by Elderly Women On Black, a gothic clad weave of noir lit suggestion amid a rhythmic snarl which jabbed and pulled on the instincts with a knowing tempting. From that shamanic like side to the intense drama of its guitar woven web and electronic ambiguity it simply fascinated, gripping ears and imagination.
From start to finish Amateur Radio left richly lingering lures upon the psyche, each drawing us back to singular moments or the full adventure ever since so will you explore its abnormal realms and pleasure?
Amateur Radio is out now via Alrealon Musique digitally and on white vinyl.
Pete RingMaster 10/11/2021
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