First Work by Patchwork


First Work

7 tracks

Running time: 1:14:03
Released: 08/2008

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  01   Synthetic Nature - 7:57
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  02   In Memory Of Humanity - 15:54
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  03   Initial Timeline - 6:15
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  04   Mysterious Discovery - 16:00
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  05   Navigate - 11:41
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  06   Everglades - 6:38
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  07   Meadow - 9:38
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More Info

SynGate CD-R PW01

- originally released in 1998 -

First Work is the re-release of the first Patchwork album, simply called Patchwork back in 1998. During a break from Kubusschnitt but before he became part of Free System Project, Ruud Heij joined up with Rene Jansen. I am sure Rene was equally as responsible in creating this superb album but it seems to me that wherever Ruud turns up the result will be Berlin School inspired brilliance.

They get immediately into their stride with 'Synthetic Nature'. Robust sequencing brings to mind Synco, and the percussive detail nods in the direction of Wavestar. The 8 minute track takes a time-out at the 5 minute mark to present tropical rainforest effects with well judges synth motifs. An grandiose and effective way to end a more than satisfactory opening.

Two tracks weigh in just under the 16 minute mark, and the first of these is 'In Memory of Humanity'. A strange mix of voice samples, analogue textures and general electronic burbling occupy the opening salvos. Slowly a sequence begins to take shape - initially just a random set of bass notes however the entrance of percussion marshals them into shape. The synth layers are particularly well handled - not overpowering, yet so full of variety and interest. Generally it's slow, moody stuff however the atmospherics at the 5 minute mark are akin to light breaking through the clouds. A classic sequence then takes over, and by now fans of Synco in '85 to '89 form will be well pleased with their purchase. Plentiful helpings of Berlin School pulsations are served up to the 12 minute mark before a delightful melodic cameo is developed to bring the track to a close.

'Initial Timeline' starts with a tribal gathering before bass laden textures engulf the soundstage, allowing a sequence to take shape and drive the piece forward. Flutey synths add detail, and the occasional chord change reinforces that this music charts the slightly more contemporary end of sequential wall territory.

At 15:56 'Mysterious Discovery' is the longest piece. Bass resonances underpin a rudimentary sequence which is soon fleshed out to form a rhythmic backbone. The sequence changes little for 5 minutes producing a hypnotic effect before atmospherics occupy the mid section. A door opens and closes, footsteps run between the speakers, then vocoder effects bridge to the start of the second sequential run. String synths provide lush accompaniment and spoken samples produce a superb mesmeric collage, complemented by expertly formed synth themes.

'Navigate' opens with more synth lushness before another choice sequence crashes into focus. Plenty of layers are available for perusal, and the percussion sharpens everything up to perfection. Listen out for the way the sequence is deconstructed then jump started in the closing moments. I'm sure this 11 minute gem will find it's way into many people's personal favourite selection. It does have plenty of competition though, not least the closing brace.

'Everglades' changes the mood with slightly discordant synth pads which constantly develop into a dense tapestry of minimalistic themes. Finally the strangely titled 'Meadow' kicks straight in with inviting rhythmics which demand to be unleashed into a classic sequential outing. The invitation is duly accepted as a Redshift-style bass sequence hits home and proceeds to underline that his album has the ability to entertain and impress right to the closing moments.

This is definitely one for sequencer fans, especially those with a penchant for the likes of Synco's '85 to '89 album. Classic timbres and pulsations aplenty, this should be on any discerning EM fan's shopping list.