THE PATIENCE FADER
When someone mentions ambient as a genre, the first thought that would come to many listeners is electronic music and drifting soundscapes. Ok, fine, and that is a description that would fit a number of artists on the fine Kranky label, and one of the artists on its roster, one Mark Nelson, that works under the name of Pan American. But set concepts are there to be changed and mingled, something that both Kranky and Nelson are also known for, and to a good effect at that.
That is exactly what is going on Pan American’s latest offering, The Patience Fader, a quite brilliant ambient diversion that includes electronics only as an afterthought. Taking a cue from Michael Rother, one of the earlier masters of the ambient electric guitar, and one of Krautrock progenitors, Nelson combines his electric guitar with lap steel acoustic guitar, and his harmonica with slight and sparse electronic embellishments, to create something that can turn into a sub-genre of a sub-genre called Krautrock ambient Americana.
Actually, you can call this one using any combination of names, genres or sub-genres, but there is certainly one term that definitely applies – some of the best current mood music.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: PAN AMERICAN – THE PATIENCE FADER