A veteran in the texturally cerebral strain of experimentalists, Mark Nelson has transmitted avant garde compositions to satellite minds as a collaborator with fellow outliers and under his solo moniker Pan American. His connections span involvement in recently re-united Anjou (with members of Fennesz and Locrain) and ambient rock band Labradford, while Pan American has been his technological pet project since his 1998 self-titled debut on Kranky.
In collaboration with Geographic North’s Sketch For Winter series, Nelson revisits his Pan American mindset with Rue Corridor, three suites of noir soundtrack. With sorrow in the title and that deep set blue album art, Rue Corridor might invite sympathy on the surface level, but the duration of Nelson’s cryptic transmissions tells a different and entangled tale. The eponymous track feels like the deep space paranoia often invoked in sci fi when a ghost ship is discovered in a remote sector, while “The Terrace” is the “all systems stable” hum of that same ship before the abandonment, so functionary that the clips and blips operate in rhythm to the drone of engines. In the realm of Pan American, a Sketch For Winter involves isolation, but not of the snowed-in, “Baby It’s Cold Outside” variety. His vision of winter is like being the space explorer sent to colonize a frozen planet alone, but certain that no one will hear your signal within your lifetime.
Purchase Pan American’s Rue Corridor at Geographic North.