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REVIEW: Makeness – ‘Loud Patterns’ (Secretly Canadian)

Under the recording moniker of Makeness, Scottish-born songwriter and producer Kyle Molleson has tried to forge links between the dissonance of industrial and post-rock music and the emotional intensity of the kind of soul-baring songwriting that has made the likes of James Blake such huge stars in the 2010s. Loud Patterns is his eventual debut full-length album, after over two years of singles and last year’s Temple Works EP.

Throughout Loud Patterns, Molleson seems to studiously construct his musical structures only to revel in tearing them down, subjecting his rhythms to bursts of noise and overwhelming them with spacey effects, distortion and other disruptive elements. At its very best, he combines tremulous melodies and raw emotion with the brooding, nearly suffocating intensity of post-rock. Whereas previous releases were largely instrumental, Loud Patterns is his first work to make Molleson’s vocals an integral component of the Makeness sound, with his voice comparable to the perennially overlooked Jamie Woon. Not the main attraction, but a decoration.

Beginning with the dissonant title track, which comes across as rock being rendered by electronics, Molleson uses very familiar dance and rock tropes to try to create something novel (or at least interesting), and largely succeeds in doing so on a record that’s consistent bar a few moments of slightly indulgent experimentation. On the head-nodding ‘Stepping Out Of Sync’, he finds a comforting space somewhere between the complex, spacious mechanics of Caribou’s Dan Snaith and the bedroom soul of Rhye. ‘Day Old Death’ is a piece of haunting house, with cobwebbed textures interspersed with screechy, distorted effects, while the tight techno pulse of ‘Gold Star’ is enjoyably retro, right down to the old-fashioned computer game effects that begin piling in near the end.

While the raw building blocks of Loud Patterns mean that it’s far from the most original thing you’ll ever hear – a few tracks like ‘Fire Behind The Two Louis’ sound similar to lots of other stuff out there – the way that Molleson tries to mix them together result in one of the more honest and nourishing listens in the increasingly crowded market of electronic music you’re likely to experience in 2018. It’s familiar, but in a comforting rather than an alienating way, and with repeated airings, it’ll gradually burrow into your consciousness and stay there. (7/10) (Ed Biggs)

Listen to Loud Patterns by Makeness here via Spotify, and tell us what you think below!

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