Review: Various Artists – Pattern Abuse Volume 2 – Nordic Ambient

Our first review of 2019 covers the Pattern Abuse imprint’s latest release, Nordic Ambient, as The Waveform Transmitter’s Alasdair McAlley takes on a host of accomplished yet, ultimately, tricky to place productions.

How and when we consume music and the reasons why we choose to invest and support artists and their creations can be deeply personal, often rooted in our sub-conscious. Or it can be thrown at us, without any consultation or choice through our environments on and off-line. Either way, at some point, we listen to what we hear and decide to carry on listening or turn off.

These thoughts sprung to mind whilst listening to Pattern Abuse Compilation 2 – Nordic Ambient. Our esteemed editor Ste sent the tracks for review and after listening to them, I tried to figure out where and when I would listen to this collection of 11 songs.

If you’re a film-maker specialising in melancholy stories then you should check it out for the atmospheric, non-intrusive sounds.

Or, if you’ve just bought a fancy new sound system or you’re the sound engineer at Spiritland and need to assess the breadth and depth of your ranges, then this will do the trick.

From the opening track by Vuggevise with the playground rhyme melody to the big Vangelis, Bladerunner 2049 synths on Oh by Qloo through to the ending closing credit piano on Taktloshet by Ljudvagg, it’s sounds like one long sound demo. You could take an element from every song and have a basis of another.

In other words, taking this music at face value may result in disappointment and would greatly benefit from visual and environmental stimuli, ideally the context in which it was reportedly produced, as a representation of the Pattern Abuse label and as an accompaniment to the landscapes found deeper into the Northern Hemisphere.

If you would like to check out a sample of the Nordic Ambient release, then you can do so via the stream below. Like what you hear? Then support the label and artists and grab the record on January 17th; release day.

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