The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website


Project Pablo
There’s Always More at the Store Michael Siebert , June 26th, 2018 08:32

The modern house demon explores fresh territory

“For this record I pushed myself to keep things more minimal than usual.” So says Patrick Holland, the man behind one of modern house’s most eclectic projects. The description of his most recent EP, There’s Always More At The Store, notes Holland’s more recent penchant for maximalism and the difficulty he has scaling things back.

The bombastic sound of last year’s Hope You’re Well is a far cry from 2015’s I Want To Believe, a dancefloor passage through jazz-flecked, groovy lo-fi house. Both are dazzling listens in their own right. This new record is Project Pablo at its most stripped down, a six-track exercise in minimal house, or as close as Holland can get to it.

There’s Always More At The Store plays with plenty of interesting ideas, and contains two genuinely great tracks. More often than not, though, “more minimal than usual” winds up simply meaning sparse. Opener ‘Napoletana’ falls into this trap, offering an endless repetition of the same synth lead over lean drums.

Yet the melodies themselves offer glimpses of Holland’s talents. It’s awfully hard to outright dislike any of these tracks, and easy to get lost in them — but only to a point. Eventually, the spell is broken, and you’re left wanting to move onto the next idea.

But There’s Always More At The Store saves its best ideas for last. The penultimate ‘Less and Less’ and closer ‘I Heard You Breathing’ exemplify Holland in top form, successfully navigating through spaced-out, uptempo head-nodders while keeping things stripped back.

There’s Always More At The Store brings disappointments as well as successes. Yet despite its stumbles, the best of this batch of songs prove the project’s staying power. Holland’s past experiments with compositional variance have yielded success. With some focus, this could be the start of another interesting turn in Project Pablo’s works.