Pan*American "360 business 360 bypass" Kranky Records Krank 041 1999 (56:05)

Steel Stars (10:41)
Code (6:38)
Double Rail (12:30)
Coastal (5:23)
K. Luminate (9:27)
Both Ends Fixed (11:26)

Mark Nelson - programming, pedal steel and Rhodes piano.  Mixed and additionally processed with Casey Rice.  Featuring Rob Mazurek - coronet, Al Sparhawk and Mimi Parker - vocals.

Mark Nelson is a member of Labradford and this is his second album as Pan*American.  This is my first exposure to any music by either of them and from what I've read it's quite a departure.  "360 business 360 bypass" does a superb job of blurring the lines between minimal techno, ambient, dub and jazz without sounding a bit contrived.  Every song is based on well programmed, dub influenced bass lines and gentle rhythms bathed in thick effects and atmospheres.  Add to that Nelson's very subtle pedal steel guitar and Rhodes piano, the lush vocals of Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker (of Low) on "Code" and jazzy coronet by Rob Mazurek (Chicago Underground / Isotope 217) on "Double Rail" and "Both Ends Fixed".  Attention to sonic detail was obviously a top priority for Nelson and Casey Rice (Designer / Super E.S.P. / engineer for Tortoise) as melodies and sound fragments freely flow in and out of the mix and the album maintains a perfect balance between variety and continuity.  Even the three 10+ minute tracks never grow tiresome.  So many words come to mind while absorbing this music:  mellow, relaxing, beautiful, delicate, warm, spacey, trance-like, drifting, unobtrusive, enthralling  ... simply dream music.  This might just be the first masterpiece of the year 2000 ...

Kranky Records

Where did I get this cd? - mail order via Riouxs Records.

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