Review Summary: The man behind Biosphere keeps at his light approach, but unlike Microgravity it teeters on the edge of pedestrian ambience intertwining itself with inconsistencies all the while we search for its identity.
Patashnik is to Jenssen a word in the Russian language meaning "a traveler" or "a goner", but no such word exists in the Russian language. The title suggests something similar to his debut album Microgravity
, in that we should feel isolated and free. The construct of samples within Patashnik
is littered with movies referring to space travel. The sample within "Phantasm" while not of a sci-fi movie still fits in what Jenssen is essentially trying to create. The words uttered "We had a dream last night, we had the same dream" in "Phantasm" initially blasts of what we come to expect. An even more ambient edged toned album than that of that in Microgravity
where minimalistic rhythms were clearly dominant. It's truly unfortunate that most of Patashnik, while keeping with the space theme as was intended still fights on what exactly is expected with the harmony and rhythm.
"Phantasm" and "Startoucher" start off with absolutely no house genre qualities as we would of expected from Jenssen, but it turns into one of those affairs with "Decryption" and latter stages of the album. And this is where the divide has begun. As fantastic as the mood of the samples from the first two tracks are they are toppled by the very minimalistic rhythms that dominated and essentially made Microgravity
great. "Decryption", "Novelty Waves", "Patashnik" sees this to the end and blows the concept to pieces. Why? There seems to be a lapse of consistency within Patashnik
. Although successfully turning "Patashnik" in what would probably be the best approach for this album; it stands to be one of the few instances where the concept and the music blend perfectly. House styled drum rhythm with the spaced out bass beats and Russian spoken words from the film 2010 all make out what Patashnik
out to be in the self-titled track. While you may dislike the inconsistencies within the music it still stands fairly well on its own. Almost like a sequence of events. "Phantasm" and "Startoucher" sufficiently introduce us to the material. The next few: "Decryption", "Novelty Waves", "Patashnik" and "Mir" mix previously styled electronic minimalism with ambient segments throughout.
What is most undeniable is that if we take out a few tracks on Patashnik
it is no doubt a fantastic piece of ambient house music. It still feels broken and leaves us trying to search for its true identity. Tracks like "Phantasm", "Startoucher", Patashnik", "The Shield" and "Botanical Dimensions" all share a common thread of freedom within either their samples, silence, or low bass rhythms that are incorporated within them. Others, not so much because they seem to be lacking those qualities that make what Patashnik
should be and clearly ought to be, a free-moving space journey.