Estoile Naiant

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Even less burred than EOLIAN INSTATE, patten's EP-length Warp debut from 2013, ESTOILE NAIANT continues the "shrouded in mystery" (but photographed) producer's shift toward less challenging collages of abstracted beats and samples. It leads with "Gold Arc" and "Here Always," two of his most accomplished tracks, with layers of texture and buried melodies that seem more sculpted and shaped than haphazardly splashed onto one another. He could strip away some of the clutter -- the harsher, irregular shards of percussion and synthetic handclaps that knock, scrape, and rattle, most active in "Drift," "Winter Strobing," and "Key Embedded" -- to reveal melodic ambient pieces as affecting as those of Heathered Pearls. The closing "LL2" involves no percussion, yet it's merely a brief outro that hovers for less than two minutes. Estoile Naiant could use a couple tracks that are less stifling and easier to follow, like the preceding EP's instantly appealing "Oea/Catalogue" and "Sixth Seven," but the album does tend to be more engaging than stifling, as well as a little more graceful, than previous releases from patten.

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