The Community Pasture

by Depatterning

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  • Package deal: AC001 + AC002 The Laborer + Depatterning Limited Cassettes
    Cassette + Digital Album

    Both AC 001 (The Laborer - Se Vende) Orange Cassette + AC 002 (Depatterning - The Community Pasture) Green Cassette in one package, download codes included.

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Community Pasture via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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  • Limited Green Cassette
    Cassette + Digital Album

    Limited Edition Grass Green Cassette, C-60, Pro Dubbed by Bandjesfabriek The Netherlands, Fullcolor Double J-card, Black Norelco box, Extra download code included.
    Side B: A chat with Gary Mentanko about his music, methods and inspirations.
    LIMITED TO 25 COPIES!

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Community Pasture via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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about

Depatterning is the work of Canadian born Gary Mentanko, now living in Wexford, Eire. Gary will be familiar to those who know his own label Wist Rec, which has been releasing ‘handy music handmade’ from the likes of The Humble Bee, Tape Loop Orchestra, and Loscil since 2009. This is his first Depatterning project outside of Wist Rec. The title, The Community Pasture, comes from a land-management service provided in the Prairie Provinces of Canada started back in the 1930s, when Gary’s Ukrainian ancestors first arrived in the province of Saskatchewan.
Side A is collection of 11 songs of pastoral hums and aural traditions with a decidedly synth-ethic featuring snippet of family voices and field recordings from the past and present. On Side B, there is a 23 minute chat with Gary about the music, his inspirations and the wonder of the early electric age.

IGLOO MAG REVIEW:
The musical industry always maintained a high dynamic of alternative micro movements, subcultures which follow radical DIY ethics (punk, industrial music). Electronic music with a cool modern classical and impressionistic ambient vibe definitely grew among new adepts of self-organized creativity in the margins of the big competitive production. An entire musical biotope made of community radios, micro-labels with a grass-root attitude rose from dark to make now a name in the e-trade and global digital culture. Analogue Chat is a recent initiative launched by two creative and cultural actors of the DIY music scene which borders sound art and ambient/avant folk music: Richard Cunliffe (curator of It’s Just Music Baby radio show, who also work in music production under the moniker of The Laborer) and Paul from Shimmering Moods Records who also hosts a monthly radio show on Red Light Radio. This micro-label offers here their second release, published as limited K7 edition, assorted with digital files. Quite an original tape publication as side-A features the soundscapes and side-B is an interview given by the sound producer Gary Mentanko about his compositional approach, inspiration and motives for this new work. Mentanko is a sound artist but also known as the owner of an other DIY label: Wistrec. Musically this limited Green cassette delivers experimental and challenging ambient compositions, made of slow moving atmospheres, delayed sounds and weird sound manipulations, focused closely on patterns, timbres, silence, tiny noises and electro-acoustic effects. It has a clear home-made or craft based dimension, sometimes inviting the listener to explore singularly elaborated, processed field recordings. An obscure, inventive and interesting release at a cross of quiet ambient miniatures and concrete music.
By Philipp Blache

FLUID RADIO REVIEW:
Canada’s Depatterning, aka Gary Mentanko, has produced something of a dated passport with his latest effort, The Community Pasture. As well as running Wist Rec, a label that has, over the years, released music from the likes of The Humble Bee, Loscil, and Tape Loop Orchestra, Mentanko has been carrying out his own aural investigations. The Community Pasture arrives on Analogue Chat and delves into Canada’s history, acting as an ‘examination of rural growth and decline in the 20th century’. The lush-green tape has been spray-painted in a colour to match its lush-green environment, but manmade constructions – water towers, pubs, village halls – are constant intrusions upon its natural setting, polluting its brooks and bracken, radiating ill, broken synths from a collage of stuttering, twisted melodies, tangled up as if caught in discarded plastic.

Dating back to the 1930’s, the period in which Mentanko’s Ukrainian ancestors arrived in the province of Saskatchewan, The Community Pasture was a land-management service located in and around the Prairie Provinces of Canada. Depatterning’s music is an aural examination of a time long ago, a document of the past leaking into the present. Eleven experimental artefacts make up Side A, while Side B features a twenty-three minute chat with Mentanko, offering the audience an inside-look at the musical process, his inspirations, and what contributed to the period’s enchantment.

Garbled voices, eerie recordings from the ghost box of the thirties, and a collection of present-day field recordings act as necessary make-up, and so are the grainy, distorted synths, which stare from the smudged, imperfect eyesight of time, a splintering crack running down its supermodel-smooth body. White noise buzzes its incoherent interference, further distorting the picture and resembling those early days of intermittent tests and failing broadcast relays. Insectile sounds seep from electrical stations and invasive buildings; these bricks shot up faster than the weeds. The confused synth tries to comprehend the incomprehensible, the decline of its once-mighty kingdom, but the answer is in plain sight: it’s man.

Environments will constantly evolve or erode with or without human interference, but these transmissions are a noisy dissonance, trampling on a leafy canopy with its pylon monstrosities and its hulking, Godzilla-like towers. Overhanging wires bear more than a passing resemblance to branches, the colours shifting from brown to black. Radio towers and their thick cable-biceps dissect green acres. The eating away of a beautiful area is painful to watch, and the music challenges us to stare. As a document, the music presents an unbiased look at the wellbeing of the land, but the general vibe is of something irrevocably lost. The musical geography rises and dips with the swell of a hill and the lull of a stream, mimicking the rise and subsequent decline of the land. It is then forever lost.
By James Catchpole

COFFEE AND FLAPJACKS (personal reflections on personal music) REVIEW:
There’s a tendency for music dealing with the rural to be pastoral, bucolic, soft-focus. Especially music released at this time of year; warm breeze, dappled sun, distant church bells. Nothing wrong with that, the country-side can be a beautiful place.

But that’s not the whole story. Away from the rolling hills, hedgerows and tended fields, away from the church spires and village pub, are the wilder, windier, wetter landscapes. The natural forests, the moors, the lakes. Untamed and more ancient, the power and precariousness of these landscapes is captured in the music of Richard Skelton. Powerful and primal, but not what we want to talk about today.


But what about the village pub and the church spire? Home to nostalgia and local ales, Morris Men and the Harvest Festival. But for many villages who find themselves within reasonable reach of the local metropolis, it’s the newcomers and the organic farm shoppe. The 4x4s with air-con and sat-nav, not mud-rust and a tow-bar. The rising house prices and the resentful local. The second-homes and no-one under forty.

But not in every village, not in every rural community. In many, the old tunes are still heard, threaded through everyday life, morphing and adapting with the times but still telling their tales of life on, and with, the land; still folk. It may be a bit rose-tinted but when it’s done with as much skill and panache as Ben Mcelroy, well, it’s mesmerizingly evocative.


So, rolling hill, hedgerows and tended fields. Bucolic.

Not always. Look closer. Powerlines and pylons, an ivy covered concrete bunker, massive silent silos black against the horizon. Miles of razor-topped chain-link protecting god-knows-what but the signs are clear; Danger – Ministry of Defence Property – Keep Out. Behind the wire, an unexplorable wilderness. And then the fields. Endless neon-yellow oil-seed rape. Acre upon acre of glass-house. Tomatoes all year round. Communities of workers, often from distant lands, foreign voices, detached and self-contained. They bus in, stay, bus out. Continuity break. Fewer people are staying to run the farms, build their lives. It’s hard-work. And isolated. And people want it less and people want more.

Surely the ideal soundtrack for a place like this would electrical hum and mechanical buzz, would somehow channel the ghosts of cold-war paranoia and the post-war drive for the ‘agricultural efficiency’ and a bright new tomorrow, both of which forever changed the landscape of folk. Machines. Chop. Change. Wind thrumming in the wires, wind ringing in the fences, whistling through the silos.

It would sound like ‘The Community Pasture’ by Depatterning.

community pasture cassette 2

Released on cassette by Analogue Chat, Depatterning is Gary Mentanko. Born in Canada but now living in Wexford, Eire, Gary is the chap behind label Wist Rec, home of ‘handy music handmade’ with excellent releases from The Humble Bee, Tape Loop Orchestra, offthesky and Loscil amongst others. The album title, ‘The Community Pasture’, comes from a land-management service provided in the Prairie Provinces of Canada started back in the 1930s, when Gary’s Ukrainian ancestors first arrived in the province of Saskatchewan.

There are 11 tracks on Side A of the cassette. Field recordings, dislocated voices, snippet of what sounds like an old (Canadian) public service broadcast, some jumpy editing and vintage sounding synths. A bit Boards of Canada, a bit BBC Radiophonic Workshop and library music, a bit Ghost Box (but not as arch). A bit not.

I think this is rather excellent.

Worryingly for me, there is on Side B of the cassette a 23 minute chat with Gary about inspirations and ‘the wonder of the early electric age.’ I haven’t listened to this as, although I think it’s an excellent idea, I don’t want to have to rewrite this review when I hear how wide of the mark I am…….


There are a mere 25 copies of this cassette. Get it while you can.
By Andrew Sherwell

credits

released June 15, 2018

Credits:
Elements of sound: Gary Mentanko
Artwork & Layout by Analogue Chat with special thanks to Craig Tattersall Mastered by Gary Mentanko
©2018 Analogue Chat
All rights reserved
Thanks to Cian, Craig, Gemma, Paul & Richard

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Analogue Chat

Analogue Chat is an independent record label based in Spain and The Netherlands releasing limited edition cassettes.

Artists are invited to record sounds from their own ‘medio ambiente’ to tell their personal narrative in the form electronic soundscapes or traditional song structures.
There will be 10 releases only. 50 cassettes per release with download codes. Each package handmade and unique.
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