With a title like Pattern Recognition, you might expect Chris Videll’s new Tag Cloud disc to be built predominantly on looped synth tracks. In fact, the album embraces a more traditional approach to electronic music composition. Paired with his use of kit electronics and analogue synthesizers, the result pays homage to some of the genre’s great works.
There are no direct references to specific recordings. And to be clear, that may be the furthest thing from Videll’s mind. But intentional or not, he’s produced an album that is both relevant today and respectful of this extraordinary music’s history.
Instrumentation matters a great deal in works like this, obviously. In addition to the kits and analogue synthesizers, Videll employs “semi-modular synths, cheap keyboards, acoustic drone instruments and percussion” according to his promo sheet.
The electronic instruments are played as their designers intended – you won’t find any distortion or post-production manipulation here. There’s an honesty in Videll’s work that resonates throughout the 57-minute album.
The five pieces – Pattern Recognition includes composed and improvised work – are each thoughtfully conceived and executed. Early electronic compositions felt like classical works because artists came at the work from a similar perspective. For many, the whole point was to position electronic music on the same level as the classics. Videll can aim at similar heights.
In addition to his solo project, Videll is a busy collaborator. He works with James S. Adams under the name BLK TAG and with Gary Rouzer and Phong Tran on Zschwishenzug.