The Baroque Atrium

by Panabrite

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about

Released on CD in edition of 300 by Preservation Records, August 2012

credits

released 01 August 2012

Written and produced by Norm Chambers
Spring 2012
Mastered by Sean McCann
analog synth, guitar, vocoder

"Panabrite is the solo recording project for Norm Chambers, who over a short time has grown a catalogue of works showcasing a natural empathy for tapestries of sound that are eclectic, intricate and immediate all at once. Marking new ground in pursuit of pre-digital synthesis, Chambers’ work as Panabrite is a shining light among those currently finding inspiration connecting sound exploration with the sensual, spiritual matter of nature pioneered by the 1970s work of such composers as Alvin Curran.

Though primarily working with synthesisers, Chambers’ own compositional palette draws a broad reach, finding a pitch-perfect point between melody and experimentalism. The Baroque Atrium finds him expanding on his craft into freewheeling and airier territory, casting these flowing, extended pieces with a resonance that connects various strands of minimalism, prog, folk and new age music into exquisite, evolving patterns. Named for a state of mind evoking an idyllic, peaceful place subtly underscored with a disarming feel of mystery, The Baroque Atrium is filled with rare unfiltered spirit."

"The most subdued and controlled of his recent string of releases, “The Baroque Atrium” continues Panabrite’s obsessions with effortless composition, and immaculate synthesizer sonics; thicker yet somehow lighter and more pristine than his contemporaries. Here melodic simplicity generates tonal complexity in perfect solo synthesizer compositions. There are no rough edges or radical formal experiments, just joyous, dazzlingly effective arrangements; amassed tidal arpeggios that rise and fall amid obscured chordal structures and rhythmic shifts that phase in and out of perception. Everything in Panabrite’s self-contained chamber-synthesizer world is deployed with grace and the blissful timing of the greatest pop music.

The only major deviation from his previous method is the presence of guitar; distant strumming, finger-picking and the gentle scrapes of fingers tensing strings and forming shapes. The addition, evocative of similar presences in Boards of Canada’s most recent record, “The Campfire Headphase”, demonstrates the ease to which the synthesizers image of futurist virtuality and modernist experimentation can be recast amid folk music. The minor alteration confirms Panabrite’s interest in the ‘song’ form, of immediacy, mass communication and endlessly fascinating sounds carved from simple components and honed through performance and gradual exploration. This is not music of ambience, but form and control of vast musical complexity posing as something insubstantial. Like localised folk musics, the dense warmth of Panabrite’s work here is supposedly personal, small-scale and anti-obscurist, but through this approaches’ focus and obsessive commitment to perfecting that limited palette, the ambitious expansion of single ideas exaggerates those beautiful counterpoints and simple key changes to something vast and glorious."
-Foxy Digitalis (January 2013)

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