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Patchworks Sukanya Deb , July 3rd, 2018 08:15

Electronic jazz synth improv hypnagogia

A disembodied mirrored female voice speaks of embodiment. It’s mesmerising. Towards the end of the track, she claims identity through multiplicity and declares, with some force, “I speak truth into being.”

Elsewhere we encounter dissipating walls of sound that go from drowning pianos to erratic warped bass thumps wrapped in 80s synth. Meditative and soothing spaces come and go. A voice speaks a word that cannot possibly be made out, repeats as if in double vision, as a bee buzzes around your ears.

Patchworkers is Thomas Harris and David Keye, a sound engineer and a piano busker who met when they worked on the same street in Nottingham. True to its title, this album is a patchwork of encounters through lanes of sounds, memories and moods - there are individual tracks to be identified but really this is a continuous work, more merged than separate.

The material that Harris and Keye compiled and composed on this tape began in live improvisation and have had minimal post-production. Memories come and go in procession, lingering, then dissipating. A feeling of drowsiness creeps in from the beginning, as if we’re in the limbo state between dream and reality. It makes for great headphone listening. “If I am rational,” says another voice, “I speak with the voice of ghosts.”

The album is tied together with a sustained hypnotic atmosphere. Side B tends towards the ominous, with warped wobbly bird sounds. A shimmering album of fleeting memories and flighty beats, Patchworks ends with an epilogue-like bonus track, as if it’s gathering itself after waking.