Exposé Online banner

Pattern Is Movement — The (Im)Possibility of Longing
(Noreaster Failed Industries (NFI) NFI-06, 2004, CD)

Pattern Is Movement — Stowaway
(Noreaster Failed Industries (NFI) NFI-008, 2005, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2007-03-01

The (Im)Possibility of Longing Cover artStowaway Cover art

In spite of their obvious resemblance to progressive rock, this Philadelphia band has gone the “math rock” route, and are apparently getting away with it. More power to them – whatever works. I’m sure that the fans they gain playing Pop Montreal more than make up for the ones they lose by not playing prog festivals. But the music itself draws no such boundaries, and Exposé readers are free to support the band even if their marketing doesn’t match ours. Because what it comes down to is that this is really interesting music, willfully and obscurely complex, sort of like Echolyn crossed with a RIO band in a technological orgy of crossed wires and shuffled data files. I’m also reminded of a post-rock take on Gentle Giant. There are interlocking guitar patterns that will remind some listeners of King Crimson, though this band claim to not be familiar with them. And there are lots of electronic tricks – sound effects, field recordings, samples and so on – that fuse in with the music, or sometimes interrupt it, without seeming gimmicky. Among the band’s professed influences are such independent icons as Blonde Redhead and John Vanderslice, though there’s no question of imitation here. As an added bonus for proggy diners, featured seasonings include Mellotron and Rhodes. I’m often mentioning how many albums go on too long these days, but The (Im)Possibility of Longing is too short! Around 26 minutes and it was done and I wanted more.

Please, sir, may I have some more? Yes, my lad, you may! Stowaway offers no new developments, perhaps a diving deeper into the same pool, or (to return to the culinary metaphor) it’s like a chef gradually refining his signature dish by varying the proportions of the ingredients ever so slightly. Still delicious, and instantly recognizable. This time out I hear a resemblance to 5uu’s, which should pique the interest of any but the stodgiest prog fan. For this listener, the band manages to perfectly balance academic and technical elements (the head) with emotional and visceral ones (the heart), and that is exactly the combination that leads to the best music. Again, the album is quite short, though the knowledge that I now have two PIM sets to fill the air is some consolation.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 34, 2004 releases, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Pattern Is Movement

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Hawkwind - Chronicle of the Black Sword – This incarnation of the band is the same as the one that released Church of Hawkwind, except Alan Davey became a full-fledged member, and Martin Griffin was replaced by Danny Thompson on drums and...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues