Patricia, Side Piece EP

Sandra Song

Patricia, Side Piece EP [Spectral Sounds]

Patricia is definitely not your side piece.The moniker of the enigmatic Chicago-born, Brooklyn-based producer, he’s the most recent addition to the Ghostly International family with the release of his Spectral Sound’s EP, Side Piece.

And as the press release says, don’t bother Googling, as the only things you’ll find are Patricia Arquette fansites, or if you’re really determined, a “missing bio” webpage on the label’s website. It’s just another indication that Patricia’s main concern is obviously the music, rather than a larger-than-life DJ persona. Whether that’s enhanced or negated by the deliberate aura of elusivity and illusion has yet to be determined.

Featuring three original productions and one skittering remix from Ghostly staple Tadd Mullinix’s JTC alias, it’s a strangely propulsive record that skirrs and slides its way past all of the preconceived notions of techno you may have held before.

It’s sparse, yet still remains a strangely lush production that overwhelms the listener with whizzing synths and hypnotic basslines. Fusing a touch of acid with a starkly ambient aesthetic, the cavernous reverb and a distinctly industrial touch, only adds to the surprise.

From the rubbery, off-kilter thumper “Drip Dawn” to the soft, swirling textures of “Foie Gras”, there’s something very tactile and tangible about Side Piece as a whole. Orchestrated together through a series of fuzzy tape loops, chug-a-lug lines and squelchy acid-tinged beats, it’s a retro-techno feeling album that’s simultaneously alien and intensely familiar.

Hissing, smoky and fizzling, it’s an EP crafted from a bevy of sounds that independently are almost incredulous in ambient and abstract nature. Whether Patricia isolates the slimy synth on “Drip Dawn” or muffles clap track of “Hulderhausen”, Side Piece in its entirety is an excellent sample of shuffling hardware techno turned down and completely flipped around.

And that becomes all the more evident as “Drip Dawn” slowly begins to evaporate away. The second half of the A-side sees the lead single melt gradually into the hypnotic “Hulderhausen”, which somehow still remains decidedly sharp and snappy despite being swaddled in a verifiable sweater of fuzz. It’s the disorienting, dawn-break track a Berlin club would play at the stroke of 6an encouragement to return inside and enjoy the cavernous darkness of subwoofers and spilled drinks for just a few more hours. Immersive, intriguing and entirely unexpected, Patricia proves that Side Piece, in all of its intricacies and innovations, can take center stage.

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