Perhaps best known as a keyboardist in indie pop act The Giranimals and the bassist in power prog rcock trio Tanuki, the Boulder, CO-based multi-instrumenalisdt Chris Frain can trace the origins of his latest, solo recording project Pattern Language from both his experience as a member of The Giranimals, where he developed a love of the sound of the Minimoog and Mellotron synthesizer — and from a chance viewing of the BBC4 documentary Synth Britannia. And unsurprisingly, as you’ll hear on “By The Time We Get There,” the first single off Frain’s Total Squaresville mini-album, Frain’s sound is largely inspired by Kraftwerk, Thomas Dolby and others; in fact, the song reminds me quite a bit of Trans Europe Express-era Kraftwerk as Frain develops a deceptively simple melody and pairs it with a motorik groove — but on repeated listens, the track reveals subtle twists and turns that hints that the material was much more improvised than anyone would initially think.
As Chris Frain explains in press notes, “Each one of the pieces on this album were started from some very basic idea about sound or structure or primary influence and yet I was surprised by all the twists and turns they took through the stages of composition, recording and mixing. It’s still fun to listen to each piece and how they took on a life of its own to become something new and unexpected — even to me.”
Created by 75 Ohms’ Cheyenne Grow, the recently released music video uses obsolete, 20th century, corporate video equipment and from generating real-time video landscapes and infinite textures, and as a result it has an appropriately retro-futuristic vibe.